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Old 08-17-2008, 08:48 PM   #346
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Was Ian Thorpe crying after the 4x100m medley relay? I think they showed him in the stands near Phelps' Mom.
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:51 PM   #347
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Ian Thorpe has a HUGE nose.

I bet he likes to do the Humpty Dance.
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:54 PM   #348
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Do you know what I'm doin, I'm doin the Humpty Hump.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:46 PM   #349
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when it comes to the *amount* of medals, yes, the top athletes are going to be swimmers, runners, or gymnasts. lots of events, different distances, etc.

but what has to be taken into account with Phelps is that he set 7 world records, absolutely obliterated his competition in 4 of his 5 events (in a sport where winning by .01 is far more common than winning by 3 seconds like he did in the 400 IM), and swam so many times in only so many days.

arguments about numbers of medals misses the point. what Phelps has done is expand our understanding of what the human body (and mind) can do. the performance has to be understood as a whole -- not just the numbers, but in his absolute mastery of knowing just how to swim a prelim and a semi-final -- and if you take everything into account, it was a flawless performance. absolutely masterful. the swimming equivalent of the Sistine Chapel.

i'm just happy to have witnessed it. look at the performance as a whole, not the numbers.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:37 AM   #350
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The problem with me is, well, one of the problems with me is, I have trouble shutting up about Heiden. What he did is truly mind boggling, and it'll never, ever be done again.
It sure is. 500, 1000, 1500, 5000, & 10,000 meter races. And he did it outdoors, not on the always perfect indoor ovals they skate on now.

Plus he looked so freaking great!
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:28 AM   #351
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No more than we love our teams...I'm just hopelessly outnumbered.
Not really, you have MrPryck2u, who counts as 2 with his schizophrenic JeteReyes shirt, and there are a few other interference NYY fans who just seemed to have disappeared over the past few seasons from posting in the sports forums.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:35 AM   #352
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Michael Phelps

I felt so lucky to have witnessed that, who knows when it will happen again. Maybe if he ever has a Michael or Michaela and passes on his talents.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:40 AM   #353
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I felt so lucky to have witnessed that, who knows when it will happen again. Maybe if he ever has a Michael or Michaela and passes on his talents.
He'll probably marry someone who can't swim, and his offspring will be compromised and only be able to achieve bronze status.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:49 AM   #354
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The govt will make sure he marries someone who can swim
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:58 AM   #355
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The govt will make sure he marries someone who can swim
Natalie Coughlin or Stephanie Rice (she's have to emigrate) would be good choices. Katie Hoff would be ok too.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:51 AM   #356
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LA Times

Michael Phelps is not the greatest Olympic athlete in history
Despite Phelps' medals and records, the quick recovery time and new technology of swimming dwarf his achievements. Carl Lewis, Paavo Nurmi and others rank higher.

By Philip Hersh
Special to The Times

August 15, 2008

BEIJING -- Could everyone please stop hyperventilating about Michael Phelps?

Yes, he now has won more gold medals than anyone in Olympic history.

No, that does not make him the greatest Olympic athlete in history.

In fact, he doesn't even make my top five.

He is No. 6 with a bullet, moving up the charts like a hot pop song.

Ahead of him?

1. Carl Lewis, U.S., track and field.

2. Paavo Nurmi, Finland, track and field.

3. Larisa Latynina, Soviet Union, gymnastics.

4. Birgit Fischer-Schmidt, Germany, kayak.

5. Steven Redgrave, United Kingdom, rowing.

Why is Phelps sixth?

It is easy to win multiple medals in swimming.

The sport is far more forgiving on the body than track or gymnastics.

And Phelps does not yet have the long-term record of the others.

Lewis won nine gold medals, four in the 1984 Olympics and four straight in one event, the long jump.

Nurmi won nine gold medals at distances from 1,500 to 10,000 meters over three Olympics. He likely would have won more had he not been declared ineligible after 1928 under rules that demanded Olympians be amateurs.

Latynina won nine gold medals and 18 total medals over three Olympics.

Fischer-Schmidt won her first of eight gold medals in 1980 and her last 24 years later as a 42-year-old mother of two. She won three for the old East Germany and five for the unified Germany. She won in singles, doubles and fours. She also won four silvers.

Redgrave won gold medals in five consecutive Olympics while rowing in three different boat types.

I asked Phelps on Thursday if winning the most golds makes him the greatest of all time, and he sounded like a man wisely focused on the present.

"I have no idea," he said. "I just get in the water and swim. That's the only thing I think about."

I asked Olympic historian David Wallechinsky the same question, and he ranked Nurmi and Lewis as co-leaders.

"I think Phelps needs one more Olympics to join them," Wallechinsky said.

Over 12 years, Lewis won two gold medals in the 100 meters, one in the 200, two on the sprint relay and an unprecedented four straight in the long jump, an event in which the impact on the body of the run-up and takeoff has been likened to falling off a truck at 25 mph.

"What Lewis did is extraordinary. He is No. 1," said France's Marie-Jose Perec, one of three runners to win the 200 and 400 meters in the same Olympics.

"You can't compare track and swimming. In swimming, you can recover. You can do five races in a day and get world records in all of them. That's impossible in our sport."

Don't try to argue that Phelps has been part of world-record performances in his first five events.

New pool and suit technology have made swimming's world records meaningless, with 18 record performances through Thursday in the Olympics alone. Just four world records have fallen in track and field all year.

Swimming allows an athlete to race two finals in 29 minutes, as U.S. Olympian Ryan Lochte planned Friday morning.

Track and field is so much more physically demanding that neither Allyson Felix nor Sanya Richards dared a 200-400 double after the Olympic schedule put the second round of the 200 within three hours of the 400 final.

"Swimming is pressure off your body, where we are pounding on it," Felix said.

Swimming offers three relays with the risk of a false start minimal. Some sprinters run both of track's longer relays, the 400 and 1,600, but the exchanges on the sprint relay are so dicey Lewis lost a certain medal in 1988 when other U.S. runners botched a baton pass in a preliminary round.

If Olympic track had an 800-meter relay, an event in which Lewis was part of a world-record performance, he probably would have won at least two more gold medals.

Three of swimming's four strokes -- everything but the breaststroke -- might as well be the same. Otherwise, how could backstroker Matt Grevers say he barely trained that stroke before winning an Olympic silver medal in the 100? Nearly every good freestyler can be a good butterflyer, and vice-versa.

You don't see any 100-meter runners in the mile, or any milers in the long jump.

Don't get the wrong idea. Track athletes have great respect for what Phelps has accomplished.

"It's inspiring to watch in amazement at everything he's doing," Felix said.

But he's not the most amazing Olympian ever.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:20 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
LA Times

Michael Phelps is not the greatest Olympic athlete in history
Despite Phelps' medals and records, the quick recovery time and new technology of swimming dwarf his achievements. Carl Lewis, Paavo Nurmi and others rank higher.

By Philip Hersh
Special to The Times

August 15, 2008

BEIJING -- Could everyone please stop hyperventilating about Michael Phelps?

Yes, he now has won more gold medals than anyone in Olympic history.

No, that does not make him the greatest Olympic athlete in history.

In fact, he doesn't even make my top five.

He is No. 6 with a bullet, moving up the charts like a hot pop song.

Ahead of him?

1. Carl Lewis, U.S., track and field.

2. Paavo Nurmi, Finland, track and field.

3. Larisa Latynina, Soviet Union, gymnastics.

4. Birgit Fischer-Schmidt, Germany, kayak.

5. Steven Redgrave, United Kingdom, rowing.

Why is Phelps sixth?

It is easy to win multiple medals in swimming.

The sport is far more forgiving on the body than track or gymnastics.

And Phelps does not yet have the long-term record of the others.

Lewis won nine gold medals, four in the 1984 Olympics and four straight in one event, the long jump.

Nurmi won nine gold medals at distances from 1,500 to 10,000 meters over three Olympics. He likely would have won more had he not been declared ineligible after 1928 under rules that demanded Olympians be amateurs.

Latynina won nine gold medals and 18 total medals over three Olympics.

Fischer-Schmidt won her first of eight gold medals in 1980 and her last 24 years later as a 42-year-old mother of two. She won three for the old East Germany and five for the unified Germany. She won in singles, doubles and fours. She also won four silvers.

Redgrave won gold medals in five consecutive Olympics while rowing in three different boat types.

I asked Phelps on Thursday if winning the most golds makes him the greatest of all time, and he sounded like a man wisely focused on the present.

"I have no idea," he said. "I just get in the water and swim. That's the only thing I think about."

I asked Olympic historian David Wallechinsky the same question, and he ranked Nurmi and Lewis as co-leaders.

"I think Phelps needs one more Olympics to join them," Wallechinsky said.

Over 12 years, Lewis won two gold medals in the 100 meters, one in the 200, two on the sprint relay and an unprecedented four straight in the long jump, an event in which the impact on the body of the run-up and takeoff has been likened to falling off a truck at 25 mph.

"What Lewis did is extraordinary. He is No. 1," said France's Marie-Jose Perec, one of three runners to win the 200 and 400 meters in the same Olympics.

"You can't compare track and swimming. In swimming, you can recover. You can do five races in a day and get world records in all of them. That's impossible in our sport."

Don't try to argue that Phelps has been part of world-record performances in his first five events.

New pool and suit technology have made swimming's world records meaningless, with 18 record performances through Thursday in the Olympics alone. Just four world records have fallen in track and field all year.

Swimming allows an athlete to race two finals in 29 minutes, as U.S. Olympian Ryan Lochte planned Friday morning.

Track and field is so much more physically demanding that neither Allyson Felix nor Sanya Richards dared a 200-400 double after the Olympic schedule put the second round of the 200 within three hours of the 400 final.

"Swimming is pressure off your body, where we are pounding on it," Felix said.

Swimming offers three relays with the risk of a false start minimal. Some sprinters run both of track's longer relays, the 400 and 1,600, but the exchanges on the sprint relay are so dicey Lewis lost a certain medal in 1988 when other U.S. runners botched a baton pass in a preliminary round.

If Olympic track had an 800-meter relay, an event in which Lewis was part of a world-record performance, he probably would have won at least two more gold medals.

Three of swimming's four strokes -- everything but the breaststroke -- might as well be the same. Otherwise, how could backstroker Matt Grevers say he barely trained that stroke before winning an Olympic silver medal in the 100? Nearly every good freestyler can be a good butterflyer, and vice-versa.

You don't see any 100-meter runners in the mile, or any milers in the long jump.

Don't get the wrong idea. Track athletes have great respect for what Phelps has accomplished.

"It's inspiring to watch in amazement at everything he's doing," Felix said.

But he's not the most amazing Olympian ever.
If he does that in London too, he will have a strong case.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:31 AM   #358
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i find it interesting at how nervous track and field seems to be getting now that swimming has become the centerpiece of the Olympics.

i suppose some sour grapes are inevitable, but lines like this:


Quote:
Three of swimming's four strokes -- everything but the breaststroke -- might as well be the same. Otherwise, how could backstroker Matt Grevers say he barely trained that stroke before winning an Olympic silver medal in the 100? Nearly every good freestyler can be a good butterflyer, and vice-versa.

i mean, how can Shawn Johnson be good at both the vault and the floor exercise? they must be exactly the same, then, so let's just award one medal in gymnastics. and since it's so easy to recover and then step up and win, people do it all the time, right? you regularly have swimmers walking away with 4, 5 and 6 gold medals, right?

and i predict Phelps will be close to 20 medals when London is over and done with.

debating individuals is one thing, looking down your nose at another sport -- saying it's "easy" to win multiple medals! ha! there are multiple opportunities, but for an individual to ever win more than two individual events in swimming is really, really rare -- is something else entirely.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:34 AM   #359
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i find it interesting at how nervous track and field seems to be getting now that swimming has become the centerpiece of the Olympics.
I really don't think it has, aside from Phelps. Track & Field is still much more rounded in terms of how many countries compete, and it's much more followed between the Olympic games, not to mention lucrative. I really doubt we'll hear as much about swimming until 2012 again, to be honest.

Also, there is a skewed image of what the centrepiece is in the US, because of Phelps, and it's exaggerated even more because the US track team has generally underperformed (at least the sprinters have).

That article angered me mostly because it seemed to think that the winter Olympics don't exist.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:46 AM   #360
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I read that article and mostly laughed.

I don't deal well with that sort of obvious biasness. I'm not saying Phelps is the "greatest ever" or not, but, the tone of the article was off-putting and so I more or less dismissed it.
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