Sunday, May 20, 2007

I ran into this nausiating quote by Olympian, Summer Sanders! - I contrast it with a Michael Phelps quote.

Summers Sanders is an Olympian who participated in the Barcelona games in 1992. She won gold, a silver, and a bronze in primarily butterfly, IM events, and a relay. She parlayed her medals into sports media work working on such "seminal" broadcasts as Skating with Celebrities and a reality TV show that lasted barely a year. Anyway, she certainly is no Rowdy Gaines.

Here is Sanders on her athletic talent and the disabled: "I was lucky. Like, suppose my father had put in a tennis court instead. I can't play tennis at all. I'd be in some retarded league right now instead of going to the Olympics."

In the image to the right, Johnny Knoxville actually starred with Special Olympians and featured them in a positive light within the movie. Sanders seems to feel they are well below her standards.

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Michael Phelps is Michael Phelps in the same way that Mark Spitz is Mark Spitz. To win a gold medal means you are great; but there is a level above that, and you can count all of the people in that Pantheon on one hand. Names like Johnny Weismuller, the first swimmer to break a minute in the 100m free with no flip-turn and a wool swimsuit. Duke Kahanamoku who not only has three golds and a couple silver but invented or rediscovered a billion dollar sport called surfing. Then there is Janet Evans who still has the longest standing records in the sport of swimming, each lasting through four Olympic Games.

Here is Michael Phelps on the disabled: "I was talking to some of the paralympians who came over from Iraq -- they were soldiers over there," Phelps said. "One of them said to me, 'It's really great what you do. We love watching you.'

"I said, 'Are you serious? What I do is nothing compared to what you guys do.' "

Phelps said his conversations with the military paralympians inspired him. [Link]

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