Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Will his quest for eight leave him a great?
Prior to the Opening Ceremony in Beijing, there were worries about the protestors, air qualities, and how invasive the Chinese government would potentially operate during the Olympic Games.
The news reports were numerous, detailing what could happen and identifying every conceivable pitfall involving the host city.
Outside of the tragic murder of U.S. tourist Todd Bachman and the suicide of his killer, the games have proceeded without other incidents.
The historic performances of Michael Phelps, such as the razor thin victory in the 4x100 meter free style relay, made the pollution stories go away. The Chinese government has not been thought of while watching Phelps slam down a 10 meter lead in the 4x200-meter relay in his lead-off leg.
The world is witnessing an iconic moment that will be vividly remembered in forty or fifty years. Folks have been glued to the tube watching Phelp’s heroic efforts that have now topped Mark Spitz’s record of winning more gold medals in Olympic History.
This assault on the record books is unreal, and you have to remind yourself that his competitors are world class swimmers with mad skills themselves. In future years, it will be easy to remember the Ann Arbor resident has set a world record in every race he has swum in Beijing.
The country has been mesmerized by watching a mother nervously witness her son become the most decorated Olympian in history, joining the distinct club including legends such as Carl Lewis and Jenny Thompson.
As it stands right now, when people reflect on the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, it will be recalled as the Michael Phelps Moment. The conversation will revolve around whether he is one of the greatest athletes of all time.
By Jay Hicks.