Michael Phelps – Biggest Joke of an Athlete?

Aug 27 07:21 2008 Angye Ryan Print This Article

Beijing 2008 Olympics are over, but they'll resonate in people's minds for a long time. The opening and closing ceremonies put together by host country of China count as the most spectacular performance ever created by humans. 958 medals were handed out to athletes, which is the most in Olympic history, but this is not the only reason why Beijing Olympics is forever going to get shiny highlights in sports books.

American swimmer Michael Phelps achieved what no other Olympian in history had. He was decorated with 8 gold medals from a single Olympics. Michael Phelps made history in Beijing. Or so it would seem. But was it really so? Is Michael Phelps really as good as we're force-fed to believe?

During a very controversial race in the men's 100-meter butterfly on August 16,Guest Posting 2008 Michael Phelps was pronounced a winner beating Serbian-American swimmer Milorad Cavic by 0.01 second. Despite initial evidence proving that Milorad Cavic touched the board with both hands first, somehow the evidence was altered ensuring Michael Phelps comes out of the race as winner. It takes a closer look at Olympics behind the scenes as it takes a closer look at what's between the lines to understand why it was so important to make Michael Phelps immortal.

Americans needed a hero:

The picture of the United States on international level is crumbling as it has for years. Whether you look at War on Terror fiasco, a fairytale of WMA and subsequent invasion of Iraq fiasco, or any other of countless fiascos the USA has been involved in, the way other countries see the most powerful nation in the world is not very flattering. Add to it worsening economy, spike in foreclosures, crush of real estate market, growing national debt... you get the picture. Americans needed a hero. They needed someone to reunite them, to show them that they are not only in the game, but on top of it. They desperately needed someone to boost their crushing self confidence and Michael Phelps - an American becoming the best athlete of all time would be an adequate solution.

Sponsors needed a high profile spokesperson:

It's got to count for something when Kellogg Co. is able to tell that the best athlete of all time is on the box of their cornflakes. It definitely has a better marketing impact than having a mere great athlete on the box. Being able to tell that your Speedos are worn by the best swimmer in the world has a better ring than saying that one of the best swimmers wore Speedos. The same goes for Omega watches, Visa credit cards, Hilton Hotels Corp., PowerBars by Nestle, AT&T Inc., Rosetta Stone Ltd., PureSport beverages, SwimRoom.com, and whoever else invested their money into Michael Phelps. They're all looking to get the most out of their investment back. Hold on - Omega is one of Michael Phelps sponsors? Weren't they the official providers of time keeping for the Olympics in Beijing? I see... now it's starting to make way more sense.

Beijing needed to be the host of biggest Olympic achievement:

Beijing invested obscene manpower, energy and money into creation of the most spectacular event ever conceived by mankind. They needed to make sure their Olympics are talked about for decades over decades after wards. They desperately needed to immortalize everything they've worked so hard for and invested so much money into. And what better way to secure that Beijing will always be remembered then by having an athlete who achieves impossible during their games. Each time someone mentions the best Olympian, name Beijing will be attached to it, because that is where Michael Phelps collected 8 gold medals. This record will be hard (almost impossible) to match, hence Beijing will remain at the forefront of Olympic Games hosts for a very long time just on this premise alone. Could Chinese officials miss on this opportunity? Well, have you seen how much money they put into their games?

Conclusion:

I have no doubt Milorad Cavic beat Michael Phelps. Milorad Cavic is without doubt a better swimmer, but awarding him with gold would not benefit anyone. Awarding Michael Phelps with gold would benefit many, including all those who matter - sponsors and two of the most powerful countries that control more than who the best athlete is. Michael Phelps is a product of corporate madness. He's an investment, a marionette that gets the spotlight for playing the corporate game. There was way too much in stake to spoil it all by giving gold to Milorad Cavic.

36 year old record held by Mark Spitz who won seven gold medals in a single Olympics has been broken. Back then the Olympics were about sportsmanship and Mark Spitz won his seven golds because he was good. He also broke the world record in all of those seven swimming events he won. There's a new record now and it belongs to Michael Phelps. How he got to it is disputable, but that's not what he will be remembered as. He's now the most praised athlete and will remain one for a very long time. I'm not gonna say I hope he could live with himself knowing how he got to the status he has, because there are people out there who are on a much lower scale of humanity and not only do they live with themselves, they live happily and enjoy themselves.

Life's not fair. We all know that. Congrats to Michael Phelps, the biggest joke of an athlete.

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Angye Ryan
Angye Ryan

-- Angie Ryan is web’s premium thought provoking (or just provoking) writer and blogger highly regarded for her unique outlook and personalized opinions that stand out from the crowd. She regularly writes for Jamie Lynn Spears Canadian Fansite as well as Beer Steak News and Celebrity Blog and is a frequent contributor on Alberta Stars Social Network.

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