I suppose there was never really any doubt that Michael Phelps would win the eight gold medals at these Games and his fourteenth overall.
However, what is still up for debate is whether or not this makes him the greatest Olympian of all time. Michael Johnson the American sprinter, who is providing commentary for the BBC, doesn’t think so. He argues, that swimmers more than in any other sport are simply able to compete in a larger number of events which affords them the ability to win more medals. Plus the recovery time is a lot quicker than in say, track or gymnastics. As such, while Phelps is the most successful having won the most gold medals, he is not the greatest Olympian. Sour grapes? Maybe. But other pundits seem to agree. Therefore, Johnson a great Olympian in his own right might have a point. Either way, I still think Phelps’ accomplishments are quite impressive!
Whoever said winning isn’t everything lied. Just ask Paula Radcliffe, she’d tell you it is the only thing! Well maybe not publicly but her tears and after event commentary for once against failing to bring home the gold in the marathon, spoke volumes.
Of course, considering that she was recovering from a leg stress fracture, I think she has a lot to be proud of. Lesser mortals would not have lined up never mind finished the race.
What a sad world we live in when a little girl with a beautiful voice is deemed not pretty enough for television.
Olympic ceremony singer faked performance
By Mure Dickie in Beijing
Financial Times, Published: August 12 2008 16:27
Lin Miaoke was quickly hailed as a budding star by China’s state media after the pig-tailed nine-year-old performed a rousing rendition of a revolutionary anthem during last Friday’s Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
But while the smile beaming around the world may have been hers, China’s top leaders made a late intervention to make sure the voice was not.
The replacement singer, however, was deemed not attractive enough to grace the world’s television screens.
“I think all China’s viewers and listeners should understand that was a matter of national interest,” Mr Chen said in an interview with Radio Beijing.
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The Chinese must be pissed. Why? Well they spend a fortune to put on what most will agree was a magnificent opening ceremony and just as the parade of nations started, word came that the Russians were on the verge of declaring war on Georgia. Talk about stealing headlines. Of course, they have their own problems at home. Apparently an American was killed and another wounded for no apparent reason by a Chinese attacker who then went on to commit suicide.
Ok, I whinged a bit during the opening ceremony, but it was spectacular! In fact, the Chinese did a damn good job and have set the bar really high for all future cities who host the Olympics. Damn! London has a lot to live up to. Of course, that’s not for another 4 years. In the interim, we have the next 16 days in Beijing which I’m sure are going to be even more dramatic once the athletes start lining up.