Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Guardian Blog perfectly encapsulates Michael Phelps' last 2-1/2 years in one paragraph!

The blog Post by Lawrence Donegan is entitled "Which Michael Phelps will turn up to the 2012 Olympics" succinctly states what has gone right for Michael Phelps and what went wrong in just a single paragraph. The blog post also covers where Michael Phelps might be swimming in London.

Snippet from The Guardian:

What does a man do after winning eight gold medals at one Olympic games? He parties, he turns up on the front page of the News of the World, he loses sponsorship, he rails against the "unfair" advances wrought by technology, he loses his form, he finds it again, he wins five world championship gold medals, he loses his form again, he turns in the worst performances of his career and, finally, he is apparently re-born as the untouchable athlete he was before all of the above took place.


Anonymous said...

yep.. the main point is that form-wise, he shows up for the big events :)

Tony Austin said...

You are absolutely right and that bothers me... not that you are right ;-) but rather that Phelps does not seem to have the competitive ethic of a Rebecca Soni or Ryan Lochte.

Anonymous said...

Lochte is pretty slow during season.

Tony Austin said...

Big difference in the work ethic though: Lochte is swimming through the meets with a heavy workload whereas Phelps was doing stuff outside the pool like poker, golf and appearances.

livefreeswimhard said...

Please get off this mans back. Competitive ethic? Really!? His competitive ethic is scary. Up there with Jordan and Woods (pre Thanksgiving 2009). I would never question it. Even Lochte said "I don't think he's ever not there, no matter what he says. I feel like he can step up and race any time." No one (outside the swimming world) knows who Rebecca Soni and Ryan Lochte are. The fact that he shows up for the big ones proves to me that he and his camp know exactly what hes doing. Why tax your body when the masses are not paying attention to swimming right now? Thats just good business. I think that Phelps/Bowman drama was for show. I dont see his career as what is right and wrong. Its just the path of HIS life. Phelps has already signaled that he is done after 2012 which sucks but we have to understand the amount of time he has to put in since childhood. Whats really important is to hear that he is happy. He has done more than enough for the sport. In fact its my personal belief that Ian Thorpe is coming back to specifically gun for Phelps because the man Thorpe doubted is "The Greatest Olympian" of all time. Thorpe was popular but not globally like Phelps is. What concerns me though is can the sport carry itself when he is gone? We cant piggyback on him forever. I think he knows and understands that which must be enormous amount of pressure.

Tony Austin said...

No, I decline... When he does something great I will mention it. If he does something stupid I will mention that too.

Thorpe has never been caught with a bong, at a poker table, or a cheap reality star either.

Anonymous said...

Oh, competitive ethic=work ethic for you, then. Though I'm still trying to figure out why it would bother you...unless you mean it disappoints you, because you've gotten accustomed to expecting more from Phelps than what he's been giving for the past year or two.

As a fan of his swimming, it was hard to watch the ups and downs last year with Phelps (the downs not being the few losses, but the apparent struggle with motivation). The only thing I was actually bothered by in this whole situation, though, was the extreme arm-chair quarterbacking/naysaying taking place in some quarters. The "build 'em up, tear 'em down" syndrome affects some swim fans as much as any other demographic, it seems. We all go through slumps with something in our lives (perhaps even several somethings), or we will eventually, and those slumps can take on different forms.

But I figured that, whatever was going on, it was something that he had to work his way through. And I wasn't about to star joining the choir spouting words of doom or failure (or early retirement, ahem), unless we got to this point (in early 2011) and he was still not showing any signs of consistent behavior with regard to training. Nobody except for him could truly understand what was going on in 2010 (though we could all make our best guess, and my best guess=what Mike Gustafson recently wrote about, burnout), and none of us could work through it for him.

By all indications I've read lately, he's broken through whatever the issue(s) was now. And as long as the current path that he's on makes him happy (and getting faster) with swimming again, that's really the only thing we can take away and use as a barometer to hope for better swim days to re-emerge for MP.

Maybe the best thing he could have done for himself was take a year off last year, or in 2009 (like Coughlin did). For whatever reasons, he didn't and that's in the past (can't change it), so...moving forward now.

Though I have to say, when he's done with his last race in London, I have a feeling that all that's happened up to before the Indy Grand Prix since Beijing will make the triumph even sweeter and more satisfying for him (and for fans who've been nail-biting for the last two years but haven't given up on him), than if he'd never gone through any of that to begin with.


Tony Austin said...

What bothers me about Phelps? Nothing.

I have given up explaining my issues with the greatest swimming asset that ever lived. Some readers understand me some don't.

justAswimmom said...

Seems like the kid needed a break. Unlike other athletes who give interviews and say, "I need a break" he left us all to wonder, hence all the quarterbacking. It seemed pretty clear in Indy he was rededicated. His times were really, really good. Now we can quarterback on the "Phelps vs Lochte" topic but we know Lochte is not an in-season swimmer and we're not really going to know much until Worlds. As a swim fan I'm excited Phelps is "back" and Lochte has decided to "put all his marbles in one basket and see what happens" (his words not mine.) Pretty awesome.