Sunday, August 17, 2008

Michael Phelps

I have watched some of these Olympics every day since they began. I have enjoyed them, especially the not-as-popular sports. But I cannot let this pass without acknowledging the accomplishments of Michael Phelps.

Four years ago in Athens, he earned six gold and two bronze medals. This year in Beijing, he was scheduled to participate in eight events -- five individual and three relays. He had 17 swims (qualifyings, semis and finals) over nine days. On Sunday, it ended triumphantly.

He won or was part of the winning team in eight events: 200m free, 100m fly, 200m fly, 200m IM, 400m IM, 4x100m free relay, 4x200m free relay, 4x100m medley relay. He was close to silver in two: winning the 100m butterfly by 0.01 second over Russian Milorad Cavic and seeing anchor Jason Lezak catch Frenchman Alain Bernard for the 4x100m freestyle relay win by just 0.08 second.

Certainly, if it wasn't for Phelps, the talk would be about Natalie Coughlin. She participated in six events: 100m back, 100m free, 200m IM, 4x100m free relay, 4x200m free relay, 4x100m medley relay. She earned a gold, two silvers and three bronzes. These joined the two gold, two silvers and bronze she won in Athens. The six medals in one Olympics is the most for a female. Her eleven medals trail only Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson, each with 12.

Another week of Olympics will be fun. Then I am back to MLB, ready for NCAA football, the NFL and the EPL (which got underway yesterday; performing well in my first week in the Fantasy Premier League).

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