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Old 03-30-2007, 05:49 PM   #31
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I think if more people knew about what Phelps was doing, then they would appreciate it. How could you not appreciate total domination? Americans love total domination. The problem with swimming and other sports like track and speed skating are sports that very few people care about outside of an Olympic year. I'd compare what Phelps is doing now to that of Michael Johnson in the mid 90s. He dominated meet after meet, but if it weren't for his incredible Olympic performances, no one would remember him (I probably being generous here by thinking a lot of people still remember him). Outside of the big sports in this country, it takes effort to follow sports like swimming and skiing and for most people it's probably not worth the effort. If I go to espn.com, skiing results are buried somewhere unless an American wins a race. It is unfortunate that people like Phelps do go relatively unnoticed while everyone knows about Pacman Jones.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:07 PM   #32
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Maybe part of it *is* that swimming isn't one of the "big sports" here in North America (it gets a little bit more attention in Canada than in the States, but not much). Also I think part of it may be that there's no 'big play' in swimming - no grand slams, no 90 (or 100, if it's CFL) yard touchdown runs, etc., just the swimmers and the clock.

My sister swam competitively - though the closest she got to this level was missing provincials by 3/10ths of a second - so I've seen both sides of it from "the stands" as it were (not hearing about it except during Worlds or in Olympic years and then following more after she started), and I definitely appreciate all the work that goes into it!

(And I just have to say YAY CANADA for the Brent Hayden 100m freestyle gold and 800m free relay bronze )
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:15 PM   #33
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Federer is just too cool, and I reckon it would be psychologically more difficult to develop into the greatest tennis player than the greatest swimmer. Mind you, Phelpsy is a star at what he does, and he seems like a better bloke than Thorpedo

That said, what's going on with R-Fed at the moment. Losing to Canas twice in the past couple of weeks! Remarkable.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:19 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Drea
Maybe part of it *is* that swimming isn't one of the "big sports" here in North America (it gets a little bit more attention in Canada than in the States, but not much). Also I think part of it may be that there's no 'big play' in swimming - no grand slams, no 90 (or 100, if it's CFL) yard touchdown runs, etc., just the swimmers and the clock.

I also believe swimming is not very popular here because there is no "season". What I mean by that is for example like hockey, football, baseball and so on. Those sports you have games almost everyday or one every week on tv during the season for people to follow. Swimming just doesn't have that so people really only get interested in it during the Olympics. After that it goes back to being "unnoticed".
Michael Phelps is trying to change the sport of swimming here in the U.S. Hopefully with what he is doing in the World Championship he will finally start getting the recognition he deserves. He is one of the most underrated athletes here in the U.S.
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Irvine511

[B
Phelps swims multiple events, different strokes, against a wide variety of competitors, many of whom only swim that specific event. they're specialists, and he's an all-arounder, and he still beats them at their own game. the biggest example is Phelps taking down the Ian Thorpe record in the 200 free. Ian Thorpe was widely regarded as the best swimmer on the planet from about 1999-2003, but he was a thoroughbred. he swam freestyle, and that was it. no one was close to him. but Phelps, a butterflyer/IMer, suddenly smashes his record in an event that is probably only his 4th best event, people stand up and take notice.[/B]
He just won the gold medal in what he considers his most difficult event, the 100-Fly. He beat out Ian Crocker who holds the world record for that event. He came pretty closer to breaking that record also. So that make 6 for 6 for Phelps. His last two events he is favored to win so it is looking like he will come home with 8 gold medals from the championships.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:39 AM   #35
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Originally posted by intedomine
Federer is just too cool, and I reckon it would be psychologically more difficult to develop into the greatest tennis player than the greatest swimmer. Mind you, Phelpsy is a star at what he does, and he seems like a better bloke than Thorpedo

That said, what's going on with R-Fed at the moment. Losing to Canas twice in the past couple of weeks! Remarkable.

true, R-Fed is hot, and i mean in no way to belittle his accomplishments. Phelps doesn't have his same aura of cool -- he basically comes off as a generally nice, sincere, not terribly complicated guy who swims really fast -- but Michael Phelps does have that no other athlete has is the best body in sport. FINA should start to market that.

i find it interesting at the mild anti-Thorpie sentiment i've seen on here. he's well-regarded in US swimming circles, and he's certainly an all-time great, but are people just sick of him Down Under? what's the deal, yo.

also, have you heard about his possible "irregular" doping test from May of 2006? a scandal could be brewing.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:08 PM   #36
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Re: Michael Phelps is the single most dominant athlete on the planet, bar none

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

and i'm curious to know if anyone else out there cares about swimming!
I do.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:45 PM   #37
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I haven't really followed this thread, or the events aside from looking at the times online. but I just went through and watched all of phelps' events on youtube (thanks irvine).

and remembered how amazing it is to watch him. maybe swimmers appreciate watching him more, but it's like every aspect of his event is perfected, every hundreth of the race is so flawless and controlled. every single race seems to be what every swimmer aspires to as their perfect race.

it's crazy

and yeah he's kind of dorky.
but that body..
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:23 AM   #38
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[q]Phelps wins 7th gold medal with 5th world record
Md. native smashes his own mark by more than two seconds


By Kevin Van Valkenburg
Sun Reporter

April 1, 2007, 8:29 AM EDT

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Early this morning, one of Michael Phelps' closest friends sent him a text message. It was a prediction. This is how fast you're going to go in the 400 meter individual medley, it read: 4.06.40.

It was a bold, almost blasphemous forecast, considering it would mean that Phelps would break his own world record by nearly two full seconds. And as it turned out, it wasn't correct.

Phelps was even faster.

The 21-year-old Rogers Forge native swam the 400 IM in 4:06.22, finishing more than 3.5 seconds ahead of teammate Ryan Lochte. It was simply another remarkable performance in a week full of them.

"I was thinking about (the text message) after the race," Phelps said. "I'll have to tell my friend his prediction was a few tenths off."

The win earned Phelps his seventh gold medal of the FINA World Championships, the most by one individual in the history of the meet, as well as his fifth world record in seven days. It's a performance that U.S. swimming coach Mark Shubert called, without hesitation, "the greatest performance in the history of swimming."

It wasn't quite the perfect night for Phelps. Early in the day, he learned that the 4 x 100 medley relay team had been disqualified during the preliminaries for a bad exchange, costing Phelps a shot at winning eight gold medals. But he wasn't about to complain.

With the way he swam this week, and the way he broke records, not just by fractions of a second but by considerable chunks, he's changed the debate in regards to his excellence.

The question isn't whether he's the greatest swimmer of all time, it's now whether he's one of the greatest athletes of all time in any sport.

"This is definitely the best case scenario for what we had in mind leading into the Beijing trials," Phelps said. "This is all I could really ask for. It was definitely a long week, but it was definitely something I'm extremely satisfied that it ended how it did." [/q]
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:48 PM   #39
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Unbelievable, he took 2.04 seconds off his old world record for the 400-meter IM. It's ashame he didn't have the chance to go for 8 gold medals. What he did down there is simply amazing. 7 gold medals, 5 of those breaking world records!!

Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal

and yeah he's kind of dorky.
but that body..
I have to agree with you there VertigoGal. He does have a very nice body.

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Old 04-01-2007, 12:53 PM   #40
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I think I'm comfortable thinking that Phelps just had one of the most dominant performances an athlete can have, and if he repeats this in Bejing, I'll start comparing his to Federer. Federer has been dominant for too long, in too many big matches, for me to compare anyone to him just now. If and when Phelps dominates like this regularly, I'll change my position.

Irivine, help me out here. Why is this the best performance in the history of swimming, as opposed to what Spitz did in the Olympics? Is it because Phelps did not just win his races, but destroyed the competition? Cos I'd think that winning 7 golds and setting 7 world records at the same time would qualify as the greatest performance of all time, but, I'm not an expert on the sport. So, am curious to hear your take on it, if you do not mind. Thanks. Oh, and, I still maintain that the best performance by any athlete, ever, was Heiden in 1980, who won 5 golds with 1 world and 4 olympic records in speed skating. I think that one is the best because he won events that are wildly different from each other...he won the 500 and the 1000, which are sprints, and he won the 5000 and the 10000, which are marathons. To be able to win in both disciplines is sick. Sorry to go off track, no pun intended.
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Old 04-01-2007, 01:33 PM   #41
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well, Phelps has been dominating swimming since about 2002/3, his performance at the 2003 Worlds was storied as well -- he broke 5 world records and won 5 gold medals -- and his performance in Athens stands as probably one of the three greatest performances at a Summer Olympics. he won 8 medals, 6 of them gold, all in a single Olympics. the only other athlete to win 8 medals was a Russian gymnast who's name escapes me, and he did that in 1980 at a boycotted Oympics.

Spitz's record has such a glitter of perfection, that it might never be attained by anyone. 7 races, 7 gold medals, 7 world records. one difference between Phelps and Spitz is that Spitz had little relative competition. the American relays were unbeatalbe in 1972, and while the US is still by far the strongest team in the world, it's not a virtual lock. it's no longer a USA vs. Europe vs. Australia competition. great swimmers come from all corners of the globe.

one of the reasons why this is considered the best performance in the history of swimming is the fact that he broke 5 world records, he obliterated his competition in all races but one, the 200 free record was considered untouchable and a hallowed Ian Thorpe standard, his 200 fly and 400 IMs were quantum leaps in terms of time. he also swam the fastest 100m free of the meet when he lead off the relay. while Spitz broke record each time out in 1972, none of the records caused jaws to drop like Phelps's 200 fly or 400 IM or 200 free. and what's amazing is that he holds records in three different disciplines -- free, fly, IM -- whereas Spitz only swam free and fly; and Phelps swims what are generally considered the hardest events in swimming -- the 200 fly, the 400 IM.

but it does still stand that the Olympics are everything in swimming. everything. if he does this in Beijing, and i see no reason why he won't as this week has convinced all doubters, been a bit of shock 'n awe, then there is no argument. he's not only the greatest swimmer of all time, but the greatest Olympian. he'll have 16 medals. it just remains to be seen how many are gold.
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Old 04-01-2007, 02:37 PM   #42
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Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. I see no reason why he won't dominate in Beijing and, as you say, become the greatest swimmer of all time, and, possibly, the greatest Olympian...at least by medal count.

And, yes, he already has 6 Golds/8 total medals from the Olympics, so it's not like this is recent, his being so good. Debates like this are great because there is never an actual answer, but if you listen/read, you might learn something. Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:29 PM   #43
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I don't know much about swimming, nor do I really care to learn more, so WHY IN THE WORLD do I find myself being so upset with the guy that got Phelps DQ'd in his 8th race?

I think the dude did it on purpose because he lost to him earlier.

Thanks for pointing this out to me Irvine. It's been a fun ride.
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:31 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by mdw3935



I have to agree with you there VertigoGal. He does have a very nice body.


Oh, so THAT is what I would look like if I grew a goatee...

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Old 04-01-2007, 05:35 PM   #45
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It is a shame when individual athletes that are dominating their field and don't get the recognition they should probably deserve, but it is the way it will always be........team sports produce a much more visible show of skill, and a dueling excitement which is also present in individual sports such as tennis and boxing, that allow people to get into it more.....

And going by Phelp's pictures....I was never ever going to be a swimmer....maybe in hobbit swimming events but certainly not human
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