Michael Phelps great-but not the greatest

Full story: Chicago Tribune

Could everyone please stop hyperventilating over Michael Phelps ? Yes, he has won more gold medals than anyone in Olympic history.

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Bailey

Gurnee, IL

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#1
Aug 15, 2008
 

Judged:

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You must be kidding me. Obviously you've never swam a day in your life. As a 12 year veteran and collegiate athlete, your claims about being able to do any stroke is ridiculous. I swam freestyle and I certainly did not swim butterfly. Have you ever tried to swim 200 meters butterfly? Most people can't last a 50. Also, Matt Grevers is a natural athlete, and to be frank, I think he was being extremely modest when he said he doesn't train backstroke... his name is on a lot of the backstroke record boards across the United States.

And yes, it's true that a lot of world records are being broken, and you're right, that has a lot to do with pools and suits. However, at the same time it has even more to do with technique of the stroke... something that changes every few years as we realize what posture is better in the water and how we can go faster. It's just things that we learn as time goes on... running has been around for a lot longer than swimming and I personally think swimming is merely catching up in terms of us knowing the right conditions that are best for competition.

If you don't think he's a great athlete then fine, but this article was laaaame.
Chris

Batavia, IL

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#2
Aug 15, 2008
 
Mr. Hersh has obviously never swum any significant distance at any significant speed. Before he makes any such statement I would invite him to swim 200 meters of butterfly in a 50 meter pool.
Besides, how can one possibly debate who is the "best Olympic athlete"? Who was "stronger" or a "better athlete" in their day, Carl Lewis or Mikhail Barishnekov (sp)??? What a dumb question to debate.
chloe

Orland Park, IL

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#3
Aug 15, 2008
 
I agree with the other comments before me. Hersh, what do you know? are you ripping on him because you have never swam in your life, failed as a swimmer, or have absolutely nothing to talk about. Phelps IS a great athlete. you have no idea about what you're talking about. i run track and i used to swim. just because during these olympics, more records have been broken for swimming than track does not make it any easier. and about what you said about being able to swim any stroke. i can swim a good freestyle and backstroke but certainly cannot swim breast or fly.

you mentioned something about phelps not having the "long term record of the others." um HELLO. he is 23. he still has a ways to go to build up those records before he's done.

go ahead, be arrogant and stupid. if you dont think michael is not one of the top olympic athletes, theres something wrong. and it is not "a great debate." you probably have nothing else to debate about. this was probably your attempt to get people to see phelps in a different light (a bad one). well FYI, didnt work.
Julie

United States

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#4
Aug 15, 2008
 
It's unfortunate when a "sports" write comments on a sport that he so obviously knows nothing about. This commentary is ridden with opinion that would be seen as completely ridiculous if he actually consulted anyone with even minor knowledge of the sport of swimming.
jen

Indianapolis, IN

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#5
Aug 15, 2008
 
He has never played a sport in his life.. His writting about this is like someone from China writting about feedom! It is like BHO writting about being conservative. Tib is a sad paper anyway.

Since: Feb 08

Cany

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#6
Aug 15, 2008
 
You know sometimes the journalists can be really really sad, especially those inferior ones who knows nothing but writing crap articles with flawed logic. And it's not even one of those articles that should at least grab people's attention by writing stupid stuff, this guy should be fired.
JustJeff

United States

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#7
Aug 15, 2008
 

Judged:

1

You're ignorant. Get a new job.
Idiot

Philadelphia, PA

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#8
Aug 15, 2008
 
I love when "sports writers" comment on the sport of swimming when many of them haven't swam a lap in there life. Try and do one day in Mike Phelps' world and than you can speak. Try training 8 hours a day plus two hours in the weight room than come talk to me. I am not down playing gymnastics or any other sport, but the argument about track runners running more yardage that swimmers well yes obviously its much easier to run a mile than swim a mile, just look how long the event is. Seriously swim one swim practice then come back to me
Insulted Swimmer

Takoma Park, MD

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#9
Aug 15, 2008
 
I will agree with you that suits and technology might be helping athletes. I will even agree that perhaps world records seem to be going to quickly because of it. I even see your side on the point that veterans of many olympics might be all time greats above phelps.
however PLEASE do not say that swimming is "Easy on the body" and "if you are good at one stroke you are good at them all" until you have trained as a swimmer like michael does. I have been swimming for twelve years and swim division 1 in college and I want you and the rest of the world to know that college swimmers train intensely ten times a week and it is NOT Easy and forgiving on your body, it KILLS to the point where walking to class hurts because of how much every single muscle is aching. WE work our butts off and michael is ten miles above me as a swimmer, he must be hurting all the time until taper. THe reason he (and lochte) can turn around and swim two events with relatively short amounts of time is because they MURDER themselves in practice to learn to race like that. And also, if you specialize in one stroke it is extremely rare to be at the top of the world in another stroke too- phelps is just THAT good. And also, just to add to runners saying that swimming's not as hard, I would just like to tell you that we are probably the only sport that TRAINS all the other sports too- not as hard, but we do do it- we run like mad, run stadium steps, do ab work, play games like soccer or basketball or ultiamte frisbee for "fun" on some days after practices to keep in shape, we lift weights, and the list could go on. Swimming is one of the HARDEST sports, and I challenge you, the writer, to go and swim 1000 yards freestyle, something most swimmers do for warm up without even breathing heavy (and then we do sets that added up will equal about ten times that distance for practice) before you ever say it isn't hard on your body.
Peter Rush

Chicago, IL

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#10
Aug 15, 2008
 
How could you have overlooked the greatest Olympic athlete ever from your own back yard? Born with polio, told he would never walk, trained by running after the school bus which he was supposed to ride home, Ray Ewry of Lafayette, Indiana won 11 gold medals in track and field. Less than 1% of the world population swims competitively, but almost 100% of it runs and jumps at least once in a lifetime to win.
writer should be fired

Collinsville, IL

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#11
Aug 15, 2008
 
complete ignorance. i dare you
(the writer) to race the ten year olds on my team in a 200 fly and we will see you get lapped. and you know why because at the age of 10 they already outwork every other nonswimmer athelete in the world.
Garrett

Beijing, China

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#12
Aug 15, 2008
 
you obviously know nothing about swimming. you can't use a remarkable display of endurance like what Ryan Lochte did as an argument against the difficulty of swimming. only Lochte and Katie Hoff were gutsy enough to attempt such a double, and it cost them both a higher medal in at least one event. to compare swimming butterfly and freestyle to a sprint and a mile in track is just ignorant. swimming also offers sprints and a 1500 and no swimmers attempt them both at the same meet. i'll agree that pools and suits make this world record assault less meaningful but phelps has still displayed a dominance that no sport has ever seen and that has to be criteria we look at.

“WHAT HUMP? ”

Since: Mar 08

Chicago

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#13
Aug 15, 2008
 
Bailey wrote:
You must be kidding me. Obviously you've never swam a day in your life. As a 12 year veteran and collegiate athlete, your claims about being able to do any stroke is ridiculous. I swam freestyle and I certainly did not swim butterfly. Have you ever tried to swim 200 meters butterfly? Most people can't last a 50. Also, Matt Grevers is a natural athlete, and to be frank, I think he was being extremely modest when he said he doesn't train backstroke... his name is on a lot of the backstroke record boards across the United States.
And yes, it's true that a lot of world records are being broken, and you're right, that has a lot to do with pools and suits. However, at the same time it has even more to do with technique of the stroke... something that changes every few years as we realize what posture is better in the water and how we can go faster. It's just things that we learn as time goes on... running has been around for a lot longer than swimming and I personally think swimming is merely catching up in terms of us knowing the right conditions that are best for competition.
If you don't think he's a great athlete then fine, but this article was laaaame.
Yeah....what he said! So there!
Keli

Los Angeles, CA

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#14
Aug 16, 2008
 
you're probably really fat.
Keli

Los Angeles, CA

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#15
Aug 16, 2008
 
or desperately want some attention

“WHAT HUMP? ”

Since: Mar 08

Chicago

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#16
Aug 16, 2008
 
Keli wrote:
you're probably really fat.
Your probably really hot
master

Shanghai, China

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#18
Aug 16, 2008
 
Bailey wrote:
You must be kidding me. Obviously you've never swam a day in your life. As a 12 year veteran and collegiate athlete, your claims about being able to do any stroke is ridiculous. I swam freestyle and I certainly did not swim butterfly. Have you ever tried to swim 200 meters butterfly? Most people can't last a 50. Also, Matt Grevers is a natural athlete, and to be frank, I think he was being extremely modest when he said he doesn't train backstroke... his name is on a lot of the backstroke record boards across the United States.
And yes, it's true that a lot of world records are being broken, and you're right, that has a lot to do with pools and suits. However, at the same time it has even more to do with technique of the stroke... something that changes every few years as we realize what posture is better in the water and how we can go faster. It's just things that we learn as time goes on... running has been around for a lot longer than swimming and I personally think swimming is merely catching up in terms of us knowing the right conditions that are best for competition.
If you don't think he's a great athlete then fine, but this article was laaaame.
So the stupid author thinks that it's easy to win multiple medals???? Well think of some other olympic champions that win every race in history??? Also, nobody cares about Mr. Stupidjournalist's "top 5" I would like a decent list from some decent guy!
Juan Perez

Miami, FL

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#19
Aug 16, 2008
 
This article can only be written by someone that have never swim and hate swimming.

“Moonrise”

Since: Aug 08

CHN

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#20
Aug 16, 2008
 
hmm..

When every one loves Phelps some different voices always pops out.lol.
hope that is truly what on the author's mind instead of sth. seeking sensation and attracting attention.
It is not always bad, at least it can help Phelps to be on the alert and avoid any possible complacency.haha.
Swimmer

United States

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#21
Aug 16, 2008
 
I just have one thing to say. People have been walking/running since the begining of time. We started swimming about 300 years ago. People are made to run, not swim. This article is bogus in saying running is more taxing on the body

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