Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why the World Will Miss Michael Phelps

It's been a little over a month since the London 2012 Olympics, and I'm already missing Michael Phelps.

This Olympics wasn't about  Phelps breaking more records and making more headlines. This Olympics proved to be his graceful bow out. He left his final mark - and he left it at a level where it didn't have to be all be Gold.

He lost his signature event (200 fly) to a kid who admitted that he studied Phelps, even imagined he was him as the real Phelps swam beside him. Anyone that saw the race and interaction afterwards could clearly see that for Phelps, being an inspiration to Chad Le Clos  overpowered the second place finish.

His 400IM race was just the same. Ryan Lochte had been training to be HIS best, making it his time. But could he have made it without Phelps' constant presence bearing down on him? Probably not.

Phelps pushed swimmers to be their best, and to even be better than him.

That's the point. Michael Phelps is swimming. Whether he returns to the world of swimming in a decade, and wins more medals or breaks more records, he's already left his mark. One that will be hard to ever replace.

And the sports world is going to miss him. He is one of the greatest athletes ever and is the greatest Olympian. And what I loved most about watching him, was that he was human. He made mistakes.. yes you know what mistake. He said silly things. Hell, there's a list of his faults. But what makes him the greatest, is that he always overcame them.

He is a true American athlete in that he trained hard, fought hard -- and won.

I already miss Michael Phelps. And come the Olympics 2016, the swimming world will too.


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