Olympics: Make It Five For Five
In sports, there is such a thing as making a statement to your opponents, but what do you call it when you go out and win your first five events in world record fashion? I don’t think the phrase “making a statement” captures the magnitude of the Michael Phelps 2008 Olympic Swimming Experience.
The words “dominant” and “incredible” come to mind, but even then, those don’t seem to do Phelps’ accomplishments any justice. What we are seeing is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence — an athlete so dominant in their specialty, they bring up memories of Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. Superlatives aside, after last night’s domination, Phelps is now the all-time leading gold medal winning Olympian with 11.
He’s also five-for-five on gold medal runs at the Beijing Olympics after winning the 200-meter butterfly and swimming the lead leg for the USA’s 4×200 gold medal relay team last night/this morning (in Beijing). In both events, the winning team/swimmer broke the world record by a noticeable margin.
So what does all this mean? First, it solidifies Phelps’ position as one of the best Olympic athletes ever. It also puts Phelps in the “greatest swimmer of all time” category, something he’ll only strengthen if he wins his three remaining races (the 200-meter IM on Friday; the 100-meter fly on Saturday; and the 4×100 medley relay final on Sunday).
Seeing how Phelps is one of the most celebrated athletes at the Olympics, Visa was ready with their commercial celebrating the record-breaking swim that put him over the top as the all-time gold medal winning Olympian in history:
As a person that admires all types of athletic performances, all I can say is, “Thank you, Michael Phelps. Thank you for your dominating performances. They are a thing of beauty.”