Saturday, August 16, 2008

Michael Fred Phelps

With an unprecedented 13 Olympics Gold Medals, the tag - the greatest Olympian of all time, irrespective of sport - will not be a misfit on the Baltimore Bullet. Maybe technology has its say, maybe Speedo is the undisputed king in making record breaking swimsuits, maybe a scientific training regime has its benefits, but in Beijing 2008 with 7/7 Golds, 6/7 World Records and an Olympic Record in the 100m butterfly ( and yet this statistics might still change after the relay on Sunday), the question of human ability and endurance certainly has to be raised.

Is Phelps physically superior to any of his challengers? Well, according to Spitz, another legend of his own time, there is nothing about Phelps in his physique that sets him apart from his competitors. Yes, he has a frame ideal for swimming, but so do many others. What makes him special is his single minded, dogged determination. Considering he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder when he was kid, the discipline which he has been able to train himself into is commendable and by discipline I mean the mental one. In front of the pool, in his mind, he knows he rules, he knows to what extent he should push himself and more importantly, he knows how to win even before leaping into the pool. Have you seen the composure on his face before any race, the calmness, the sense of detachment? Even the sight of such confidence is enough to force all opponents into an unconditional surrender.

Prior to Beijing 2008, I had a list of three people who's determination and performance in sports had made a significant impact on how I see myself - Adam Gilchrist, Lance Armstrong and Brett Lee, all for different reasons. Now Phelps has demonstrated to me the actual power of mind over matter.

Kudos to Phelps, Congrats to Bindra, Chinese determination - simply awesome and as a feast of technology and human performance, Beijing 2008 scores over the rest.

1 comment:

Shantharam Shenoy K said...

spot on...he is really get one gold it takes a lot of hard work, concentration etc ...but 8 golds...gosh..and ya he won all events before jumpin in the pool...and that did make him superior to his competitors..another one who has sort of inspired me is bolt..he was definitely miles ahead of his rivals..this olympics has really been great and many have achieved the ultimate greatness they were trying to...hope INDIA does better next time...