Saturday, August 16, 2008
Hype is all over the place in our current culture. We hear about the second coming in all aspects of our society from products, personalities, music , movies, athletes, politicians, etc. The media at large will grasp on to any hot new "thing" feed it into our subconscious until we're waiting in line at Walmart for that $100 couch that wont stain & will convert into a hydrogen fuel car at the touch of a button. Sometimes though and very infrequently someone or something will come along & live up to all the hype. As someone who considered himself a better than average athlete at one time in my life, I have to say that I have been blown away by Michael Phelps at these Summer Olympic Games. I really wasn't that jazzed for the games, they kinda crept up on me, I knew about Phelps' quest for 8 Gold Medals but really wasn't paying much attention to what that really meant. I was also concentrating on my Yankees but that's a whole other story....After watching Phelps and reading about his regimen (I mean come on, the guy eats 12,000 calories a day) I was totally inspired by the amount of effort that all these world class athletes put into their training leading up to the Olympics. Phelps starting training for '08 the day after the '04 Olympics ended and boy does it show. Not only has he delivered in every final so far but he is setting world records (as if that's an easy thing to do) and crushing other world class swimmers that in any other Olympics in some parallel universe in which Phelps does not exist would be wearing some gold bling around their necks as well. It's a grueling schedule, 17 total races in 7 days, massive commitments to the media, warm ups, warm downs....the guy is a machine. I could understand that if last night maybe he was a bit tired, got edged out at the wall & would have to settle for a Silver in his ultimate quest but no, somehow remarkably he comes from behind with the slimmest of margins to once again stand atop the podium (which should now be called the House that Phelps Owns). There have been & will be other great moments at these Olympics but at least so far the person that everyone will be trying to emulate swims with the fishes.