Michael Phelps' Olympics

Just over 3 years ago, I returned from Mexico to find my younger brother Brett much taller and much stronger. I also found out that he was on our high school swim team doing quite well as the team's leading backstroker. One of his coaches liked to compare him to some guy named Michael Phelps who was apparently one of the best swimmers in the world. My 'little' brother is just an inch taller than Phelps and similarly has very large feet and hands. I didn't know why Phelps was such a big deal; I was in Mexico during the previous Olympics, quite oblivious to his accomplishments and presence in general.

That was then...

Since last Saturday, I haven't missed a televised race involving Michael Phelps, preliminary heat or final. Let's just say the intrigue and possibility surrounding this man drew me in. I am lost in the surreal nature of it all. Phelps seems so real, so 'normal' in pre-race mode... but take off the earphones and warm ups, and you have a titan, a world-beater. In relatively short races, he bests the competition not in terms of hundredths of a second or inches between touches; rather, he has set a trend of winning by whole body-lengths and multiples of half-seconds. His performances demand the attention and respect of all, for they appear supernatural.

Uncertainty certainly lingers as the world observes the varied events of the Olympic Games, yet in the midst of all this unknown potential stands Michael Phelps. His potential is known, his great capacity even expected. This Olympics belongs to him, to the man who will receive more gold medals and more world records than entire countries can hope to achieve.

And though I feel rather desensitized by this year's presidential elections and talk of economic woes, nevertheless I am grateful for one thing right now: the chance to witness the overwhelming excitement of the 2008 Michael Phelps Olympics... and feel renewed as an American.

U. S. A., U. S. A., U. S. A.!


  1. Agree! I had to take a nap yesterday after work so I could stay up and watch the races. I even find myself doing weird little hand motions sitting on the couch like I'm somehow doing the butterfly myself. Ha. Along with it, I'm actually exercising more and so the olympics are inspiring in so many ways.

  2. micheal phelps is my hero. He and Jason Lezak.