Great Moments in Olympic History: #4 Michael Phelps

I’m just reading a weather report here and it says that London is going to be sweltering for the Olympics. Which I guess is a good thing, because from paparazzi pictures I’ve been seeing coming out of the country, it’s done nothing but rain all summer in the UK. Luckily, the Brits know how to wear wellies.

In other news, folding chairs will be banned from the Olympic sailing competition, Pepsi t-shirts have not been banned from any competitions, and the Spice Girls may be reuniting for the Closing Ceremonies. I’ll call this last one a long shot, but it could make for quite a bit of fun!

We’re getting even closer to the big day!

Number 4 on our list, Michael Phelps and the improbable 8 medals:

So the other day I swam from one end of the canal to the other and my arms were sore for the next two days. How anyone can swim the butterfly stroke, or really anything else, for any length of time is beyond me. With that in mind, it’s clear that Michael Phelps’ 8 gold medals in Beijing is mind-boggling to me.

Phelps came into the 2008 Olympics the clear front-runner for most of his races, having won 6 gold medals in Athens in 2004. During the first few rounds, he was setting world records and cleaning up in the medal count. He had picked up 6 gold medals leading up to the 100m butterfly final, which, unbeknownst to him, would be the make-it-or-break-it race of these Games.

The butterfly is known to be Phelps’ best stroke, but he had trouble getting ahead of Serbia’s Milorad Čavić, who was in the lane right beside him. Right before the first turn, Čavić had a slight lead, but Phelps came out of the water ahead by a smidge. Halfway through this length, Čavić again pulls ahead, and they literally go swim cap for swim cap for the rest of the length of the pool. Because of the particular motion of the butterfly stroke, it’s hard to tell who touches the wall first, but the judges award the race to Phelps, handing him his 7th gold medal, tying swimming great Mark Spitz and setting the stage for Phelps’ record-breaking 8th gold medal.

There is obviously controversy surrounding Phelps’ butterfly win, as it seems that Čavić could have actually touched the wall first, but the full force of Phelps’ arm thrust forward caused his to be the first clock stopped. I don’t know about the rules of swimming, but I don’t think you can get much closer of a race than that. It’s a record-breaking Olympic moment enhanced by the fact that the race was a dog fight. And this is why I love the Olympics.

#5 Muhammed Ali
#6 Jesse Owens
#7 Mary Lou Retton
#8 USSR v. USA
#9 Abebe Bikila
#10 Wilma Rudolph

3 Comments

Filed under BEST Things Ever, Wide World Of Sports

3 responses to “Great Moments in Olympic History: #4 Michael Phelps

  1. Pingback: Great Moments in Olympic History: #3 Derek Redmond | NoMad Blogger

  2. Pingback: Great Moments in Olympic History: #2 Eric Moussambani | NoMad Blogger

  3. Pingback: Great Moments in Olympics History: #1 Kerri Strug | NoMad Blogger

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