Will any athlete be able to equal the mind boggling success of Michael Phelps? This is a question that everyone seems to be asking. There are very few athletes who are as dominant and as awe-inspiring as Michael Phelps.
He was written off before his arrival in London Olympic Game Village. He is not fully trained to compete in this Olympic, said a long time swimming analyst who believes he is the top authority on the sport. He hasn’t trained the way he had trained prior to the Beijing Olympic, the same analyst reasoned. And many seem to concur with him.
There were others who said Ryan Lochte will eclipse him. Reams of papers were written about the imagined Phelps and Rochte rivalry. But within a few days of his arrival in the Olympic Village in London, the 27-year old swimmer has become the highest Olympic medal winning athlete in the history. Later he cemented his position by winning one more last gold medal. I am calling it last as the champion has said that he is retiring from active professional swimming and will not return to it under any circumstance.
After all, what is left for Michael Phelps to prove to the world after winning 17 gold medals and 21 medals overall in Olympics. Michael Phelps won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. In London Olympics he took part in seven events and has won as many as five medals including two gold medals.
Earlier Phelps was expected to take part in eight Olympic events, but then he decided to drop out of 200-meter freestyle. Phelps won the event in 2008 — one of his record eight gold medals in Beijing — and has the second-fastest time in the world this year but decided to concentrate on his seven other events instead.
During Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps mesmerized the whole world including his country, the US. He captured the attention of Americans — even those who barely pay attention to swimming — with his quest to win eight gold medals in Beijing. This year he had made it clear in advance that he was not there to again attempt to achieve the same level of success that he had achieved four years ago in Beijing.
He has clearly said that he will not return to sports under any circumstance. After winning his last Olympic medal he said, “The sport is going to be fun to watch…I’m excited to see it from the outside more than anything, what these young people are going to do to continue to change the sport”. To be true, we all are fortunate to witness and watch such a great athlete in our midst. Thank you Michael Phelps.