Michael Phelps - Is he human or metahuman?

Discussion in 'Sports and Fitness' started by Gryffindorian, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. scottydog

    scottydog Admiral Admiral

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    Woohoo! Awesome final race, awesome performance by this guy. Eight for eight! Now the question is: How many billions of dollars in additional endorsements will he acquire?
     
  2. Brolan

    Brolan Commodore Commodore

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    Mark Spitz is still living off of his Olympic achivements 36 years later. It will be the same for Phelps.
     
  3. Rat Boy

    Rat Boy Vice Admiral Admiral

    Michael Phelps needs to start registering for the Superhuman Registration Act, that's how good he is.
     
  4. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    He's the fastest swimmer in the world. He has spent his life training to be as good as he is. He has already broken multiple records. He eats 12,000 calories a day and is in perfect shape.

    No, he's not *just* a fast swimmer.
     
  5. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, and it is for all the reasons you list above that he is the fastest swimmer in the world or maybe even of his generation, but all the over the top gushing about him being the "epitome of athletic prowess" :lol:, and 'the greatest athlete of all time' is ridiculous. So what does that make Mark Spitz who only won one less?

    Makes him a poor guy whose feats were accomplished before the broadcast, print, and internet hype machines had the far ranging power they do now. ;)
     
  6. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    yeah there pretty easy to spot either that or he's part of the Army's supersoldier experiment and just recently thawed. Give the man back his shield!
     
  7. Rat Boy

    Rat Boy Vice Admiral Admiral

    If someone is casting for an Aquaman or Namor the Submariner movie, they need to cast this kid in the lead role.
     
  8. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Do I sense jealousy here? :lol: It's not every day you hear of a person who has won 8 Olympic gold medals in 8 swimming competitions, breaking several world or Olympic records, totaling 14 Olympic gold medals and 2 bronze in his career. Hello??? Is any of this sinking in? I'll say that's one HELL of an accomplishment, which is actually more than I can say for these other popular American basketball, football, or baseball athletes :rolleyes: (*cough* Barry Bonds *cough). The guy consumes approximately 12,000 calories a day, most of which I imagine he burns, and undergoes rigorous physical training and has got to be mentally disciplined and focused. If that's not athletic prowess, I don't know what is ... er, basket-weaving???
     
  9. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, but I sense you missed the point (I'm glad you laughed after writing that). He is a great swimmer who has accomplished something great and yes, he probably is the epitome of athletic prowess -- for a swimmer.

    But the "epitome of athletic prowess" (in general), as you called him, the greatest athlete of all time as others have, uh, he is a great swimmer.
     
  10. scottydog

    scottydog Admiral Admiral

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    Well, at the very least he is the epitome of swimming prowess. It would be interesting to know if he is super-talented in other athletic areas. For example, does he have the good hand-eye coordination necessary to hit a baseball or play hoops? We'll never know, of course, but we can always celebrate his indisputably superior swimming skills.
     
  11. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    What is the record for most individual golds in a single Olympic games? I know that Spitz had only 4 out of his famous 7 golds in Munich. I'm not sure how many of Phelps' this year were individuals. Eric Heiden picked up 5 inidvidual golds in a winter games way back when. And I think Bonnie Blair did similarly after that.

    None of this is meant to demean Phelps' achievement in ANY way though. He had a great team, no question, but he still had an inordinate amount of pressure on him.
     
  12. nevermore

    nevermore Admiral Admiral

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    ^He won 5 this year. 4 individual golds in 2004.

    Overall, his 16 medals is second to a Soviet gymnast, who has 18 over 3 games. So, he needs 3 in 2012 to surpass that. :techman:
     
  13. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Speaking of missing the point, I believe you have done that as well. I was simply stating my own opinion. It seems to me you have nothing of value to contribute to this discussion, other than to contradict other people. :rolleyes: You clearly disagreed when I stated my opinion of M. Phelps' athletic prowess without really stating why or backing it up with facts, which I have. Then you retracted by acknowledging that Phelps has the athletic prowess for a swimmer. It's like saying, "I don't like cheesecake; therefore, all cheesecake eaters suck." In such case, why don't you move along and get off my thread. :lol:

    EDIT:

    I would just like to quote the following from an article I read in the paper this morning:

    Nine days, 17 swims. Five individual events, (to answer Neroon's question) three relays. Eight gold medals, seven world records.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  14. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    Thanks for the clarification on how many individual golds Phelps has won. :techman:

    As to the hyperbole being tossed around in describing his achievements, it's more than understandable. Swimming is an incredibly tough discipline, measured in very fine and precise units. Races and medals are won or lost by hundredths of a second, just ask Dara Torres or Phelps himself. It's a sport requiring a complete workout of the body, as people like Bo Jackson can attest. It's of course impossible to denote a specific person as "the greatest athlete of all time", because there are too may eras - and influences - to crystalize it into one answer. There are just too many candidates for the title.

    But any discussion MUST include Michael Phelps, or the argument is completely invalid.
     
  15. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, and the same can be said of Track and Field athletes, specifically runners, particularly sprinters. I think sprinters are in a more difficult sport generally than swimmers, so are boxers and wrestlers (Greco-Roman not that foolishness on the CW).

    All of aforementioned have to carry their own weight under the full brunt of gravity and in the case of the boxers and wrestlers, also fight an opponent -- swimmers don't. Additionally, swimmers have the benefit of performing in something like a zero g enviornment. Its no coincidence that people with injuries rehab in pools, its easier to move and provides less wear and tear on the body.
    Because other athletes have to fight the full brunt of gravity, while fighting other athletes, while still having to perform, I don't know any swimmer I'de list in my top ten greatest athlete. Now if we're talking about top ten aerobic athletes or best low impact cardio athletes, okay now we're talking swimmers. I don't put swimming on the same level as rhythmic gymnastics, but it ain't all that far away. [LEFT]

    [/LEFT]
     
  16. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    I am not attempting to elevate swimmers above track & field athletes; simply that swimmers are at least an even accounting. You can discount the fact that swimmers are buoyed by the medium in which they perform, yet track stars for example doesn't have to worry about being drowned when they stop their motions. What happens to Carl Lewis if he stops his sprinting? He simply can sit down or stand and expend no more energy until such time as he's recovered. Any swimmer has to keep going or rely upon someone else to get them out of the water. So the medium you fele gives swimkmers an unfair advantage at the same time saddles them with a greater challenge simply for living. Each one has its own pros and cons, it's true.... but they tend to balance each other out rather than giving the edge to one or the other.

    Sorry, I can't demote Phelps just because he's a swimmer.
     
  17. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Well people have died after running a marathon and I've never any swimmer get hurt like Alberto Jauntorena was the poor guy. :eek:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9RSScXe1gA

    But I'd certatinly rank Usain Bolt's 100m dash victory ahead of most of Phelp's races and Bolt just started running the 100m dash recently and he's already got two world records in the event. :eek:

    And of course that doesn't diminsh what Phelps, but I'm a long standing track and field fan. :techman:
     
  18. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Since I watch Olympic coverage on CBC, we've been nearly Phelps-free. And thank goodness, because the one look I got at him makes me wonder about some of the things people say ("ooh, he's sexy...").

    Ick. I don't find him "sexy." I find him rather creepy-looking, his ears stick out, and the expression on his face during one of the medal ceremonies appeared to be one of utter boredom ("ho hum, another one...").

    And no, this is not sour grapes that Canada hasn't done well in swimming this time. We have done well in rowing and women's wrestling, so we've also got people to be pleased with. But nobody is putting them up on exaggerated pedestals or featuring them at the expense of other equally deserving athletes.

    I think it's neat that Jamaican athletes did so well in the 100-m dash. Both men and women taking gold... they really have something to be proud of.
     
  19. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think you're really reaching here. What Olympic swimmer worries about drowning? Much lesser swimmers than Olympians aren't even concerned about drowning. But have you ever seen a sprinter pull or tear a muscle going at full speed? Not only do they have to be concerned with stopping before further injury occurs, they have to worry about falling. Ever seen a hurdler fall? That is almost always horrendous.

    If a swimmer pulls or tears a muscle, I would imagine they'd just stop and start to float on their own, or grab one of those lines marking the lanes. There is virtually no chance they'll actually drown with thousands of people around.

    Swimming is a nice little sport, certainly deserving of being in the Olympics, and Phelps' accomplishment is noteworthy, but lets keep it in perspective. For instance, in 1968 Bob Beamon long jumped over 29 feet. At the time the Holy Grail for long jumpers was 24 feet if I recall correctly. Today, 40 years later, long jumpers are still a foot (more or less) away from matching what Beamon did. Many speculated that Beamon killed the event with that jump -- and for many years that was true. But we don't hear Beamon being called superhuman, yet what he did is a lot closer to "superhuman" than what Phelps has done.

    Did any of the records Phelps set this Olympics compare to Beamon's? I don't think so. Congrats to him for his 8 gold medals, but they were in swimming so let there be an end to all the "metahuman" foolishness.
     
  20. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    As a swimmer, he is phenomenal. But I don't think his swimming abilities make him some kind of super human.

    His diet and metabolism, however, absolutely blow my mind.