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August 17, 2008



I hear he plans to become a Chinese gymnast.

If I was him, I'd spend some money - frivolously.

JM Hanes

"As to whether the public will have had enough of Phelps, and whether a pursuit of a mere six golds would provide a compelling story line, time will tell."

Looks to me like some folks may have already overdosed on Phelps, if not the story line. After last night's relay, the woman who does the poolside victory interviews asked two of Phelps' fellow medalists to fill the world in on what Phelps winning all those gold medals meant to swimmers.

It seemed pretty obtuse, given the immediate circumstances, (and a couple of unprintable answers occurred to me) but I can see how she might have been a little desperate to find an approach that didn't involve asking Phelps how he felt, for the umpteenth time. Oddly enough, none of his answers actually stick out in my memory. Perhaps that's partly because the story line (Can Phelps beat Mark Spitz gold record?) was so set in cement that nobody really asked him particularly interesting questions.

Whether the Greatest Athlete of All Time wears well over the next 4 years will probably depend on whether he's represented by someone with real savvy about how his endorsements are scripted, no? A little high profile mentoring on the side always helps. Assuming he does do Olympics '12, I just hope he enters less than eight competitions. Otherwise the only thing we'll be hearing, ad nauseum, is "Can he do it again?," until we get to, "How does he feel about failing to equal his own achievement?," if he only wins seven.

As a rather sad little coda, IMO, a reporter here at home asked Mark Spitz if he would be in Bejing to cheer the U.S. team on, and he replied that no one had invited him.


I'm impressed by Phelps but I'm perhaps more impressed by Dara Torres. Women approaching 40 are considered old news after 19 in Hollywood and in the dating scene. She showed that a 41 year old woman is just as vital if not more so. The fact that she won silver and lost gold by a hair is a triumph for approaching-middle aged men and women.


Obviously enjoyed Phelp's achievements and loved Dara Torres emotions and performances, but is there honestly any greater instant in sports than the moment that the solitary leader of the Olympic's Marathon enters the stadium for that last lap around the track and the explosive cheers of the crowd blow the roof off the place? I think not.


I'm surprised that Speedo didn't invite Spitz to Beijing.

The good news for him is that there is good money to be made in niche marketing internationally that won't necessarily overexpose him. He has made $5 mil pretty steadily with only a few of his endorsements being seen by the general public.
So, he can do the few big ad campaigns here, but still make money by targeting the swimming/sports world.

Did you know there is an Ian Thorpe sports beverage in Japan? It is by Yakult, I believe, and is called Thorpedo.


For him = Phelps


Nah, he's gonna swim fly in there somewhere.


Just saw an interview and she didn't totally deny that she might keep swimming. Imagine her at 46 in the Olympics.


That's an interview with Dara Torres.

Danube of Thought

I fell very mightily in love with Dara. The perfect Olympian, gracious and modest. Also the perfect bod...

Danube of Thought

Just saw Dara interviewed by Jim Lampley, and the heartstrings fluttered even more uncontrollably.

hit and run

As a rather sad little coda, IMO, a reporter here at home asked Mark Spitz if he would be in Bejing to cheer the U.S. team on, and he replied that no one had invited him.

I read that a few days ago -- and thought Spitz came across as pretty petty. Not knowing the circumstances (did Spitz just sit by the phone waiting for a call without lifting a finger of his own?) it's hard to tell.

But when Sptiz was interviewed live with Phelps some time after Phelps won his seventh, Spitz was completely gracious.


I had the exact same opinion of both events Hit.

JM Hanes


I didn't see/hear anything other than the reported comment (related from a memory for which I cannot vouch!) so I don't know the background. I had a slightly mixed first reaction, but considering just how largely he figured in the story line as the potential has-been, I ended up feeling pretty sympathetic. IIRC, Spitz was always pretty gracious, and I'm not sure it's easy to hang around as a private citizen. It strikes me that you really see very few former medal winners doing so -- unless the press are just ignoring them -- which is rather a shame.

I, personally would love to see them (or coaches like Karolyi who was a breath of fresh air) doing a lot more commentary. Imagine Spitz interviewing Phelps, for instance! It would surely be a whole lot more interesting than listening to the back and forth with what's-her-name who has been posing the same pretty uninspired questions for days. Of course, if it turns out that she was once a champ herself, I'll have to revisit the concept.


Slow or fast twitch.

Jim Glass

My wife is a master swimmer and she and her "swim nerd" friends think Phelps is going to be the first person to swim to Mars.

They remind me of my own chess nerd kiddom during the Bobby Fischer era. We all know how he turned out. I keep warning them, the glory of youth does not last. When Phelps gets a little older and stops burning those 12,000 calories a day after he's stuck in the habit of consuming them, things could turn ugly.


I have it on good knowledge from a friend in the democratic party that Michael Phelps next career will be in synchronized swimming. His goal will be to do the standard 3 minute routine in 2'30" and win the singles, doubles, and relay. After this, he plans on entering rythmic gymnastics (either stick and hula hoop or running with ribbons) and finally curling so that he can win 86 medals, thereby bankrupting the IOC.


If you want to consider the nuttiest thing we do in power generation right now, it's to use natural gas to run an electric power plant (built as a "peaking" plant but now running 365 days/year) during winter months and use it to run people's electric heat. When they could burn the gas directly in their furnaces and use like half of the amount of gas for the same amount of heat

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