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wundayatta's avatar

8 gold medals for Mark Phelps: how big a deal is it?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) August 16th, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

35 Answers

crunchaweezy's avatar

Considering it hasn’t been done since 1972 (7 medals) I’d say really big deal.

You get 8 medals and ask me if it’s a big deal.

gailcalled's avatar

Ach. I was recording it to watch tomorrow. Waah!

chutterhanban's avatar

MARK PHELPS!?!?!??!!? are you serious?

Les's avatar

Yeah, I guess it isn’t a big deal to those who don’t even know his name.

It’s Michael Phelps

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

Do you mean Michael Phelps?

And yes, it’s a huge deal, due to the fact that it’s an extremely rare occasion.
Besides, I live about forty-five minutes away from him. [He lives in Baltimore, MD.] =D

wundayatta's avatar

Ooops! Is my face red! I was writing so fast to get it in before someone else asked something similar that my mind spit out the wrong name. Of course, that’s pretty typical. I can’t remember anybody’s name, it seems.

So, sports are that significant, eh?

Les's avatar

Jeez, daloon.. No, sports are not that important. But when anybody completes a feat that seemed impossible, or improbable, it is pretty awesome. The theory of relativity, Afternoon on La Grande Jatte, and yes, feats of human endurance and strength are all very important and inspiring things.

nayeight's avatar

Haha, he got a DUI in my town and then gave a speech at my sisters middle school the next day…

amandaafoote's avatar

Personally…my life hasn’t changed any.

marinelife's avatar

It’s a major accomplishment across all the realms of sport.

lefteh's avatar

I have to point out that it is not a rare event, it is an unprecedented event.
Never before in modern sports has there been such an outstanding display of human strength and determination. The man is truly a legend.

Tantigirl's avatar

It makes him the greatest swimmer to date. I’d say it will be a long time before another swimmer like him comes along.

Phillyzero's avatar

Well for olympic reasons it’s huge. I heard that over 120 years (I think) of the modern olympics, over 100,000 competing athletes at winter/summer olympics, Phelps stands ALONE at 8 gold medals in 1 olympic sitting.

heysupnm's avatar

@Tantigirl: It makes him the greatest Olympic Athlete of all time. I’d say it will be a long time before another athlete comes along!

Tantigirl's avatar

I don’t think you can really compare the different sports. He has that many medals because he can win one with every event that he enters. He has that many medals because he has access to more events. Other sports compete against team after team after team, and then win one medal if they’re lucky….

Bri_L's avatar

@ lefteh – I am confused as to what you mean by ‘it is not a rare event”? I don’t understand what you mean by that.

@ Tantigirl – that is a good point. apples and oranges.

lefteh's avatar

Something that is rare does not happen often.
Something that is unprecedented has never happened before.

simone54's avatar

It’s always great to be around to witness great historical events in sports.

allengreen's avatar

We should ask the families or the soldier who were killed or maimed this week in Irag “what a huge deal” it is, or is not. Or maybe Phelps is “supporting the troups” with a made in China Bumper sticker.

My clients who are facing foreclosure this week think it is a big deal too, oh, wait, they don’t have places to live so maybe it is not a big deal to them or their kids who now live in a car, in a parking lot in NW Phoenix.

Go Michael, Go Michael, Go Michael, Go Michael——Yippee!

lefteh's avatar

I think that’s a bad argument.

There will always be grave problems in the world. I don’t think that we should ignore truly exceptional events that happen to be occurring at the same time as awful tragedies. If we constantly focused on the atrocities of humanity and overlooked the wonderful displays of its greatness, we would be a rather depressed and unmotivated species, don’t you think?

allengreen's avatar

I see your point. My argument is that we are addicted to entertainment and pay little attention to the big, history altering events. Sort of like the decay of the Roman Empire, Nero playing his lyre and singing while the city burned.

I take nothing away from Phelps, but I find it deplorable that faced with the incineration or our economy, our quest for war in the middle east and now an escalation between Russia and US over Georgia, that so much time and coverage given to a sporting event confirms my worst fear that we are an Empire in Collapse, or severe decline.

lefteh's avatar

It’s not like it is Monday Night Football.
It’s the Olympics. It is a unique display of people from almost every nation (only three did not participate this year, one of which is the Vatican) laying down their arms, forgetting their differences, and coming together to compete in displays of human strength. It is much more than a sporting event.

Bri_L's avatar

I have to agree with lefteh on this. No one is denying there are severe problems in the world. But the Olympics are about moving past those things. An athlete from Georgia and and athlete from Russia shook hands and hugged at their event. I bet that got more coverage with a more positive effect than all the negative footage of warfare. It reminds us in the end every country comes down to the people that make it up.

I am sorry to hear about your clients but wait, you have clients and I am unemployed. There is always a way to take that view point.

wundayatta's avatar

Now we are getting to the discussion I was interested in. I can see that bringing together people from around the world to compete is a sign of cooperation among nations. On the other hand, I find it ironic that the games we compete in are descended from skills needed in war: think discuss, shot put, javelin and running. We get into naval warfare, and the skills of Michael Phelps come in handy. Or they would have, way back when.

So war and peace in one event. Then you get the political symbolism, and after all, these days, most wars are fought by proxy. Beijing is pounding it’s metaphorical chest with these Olympics, to show how strong and powerful China is now, and how they must be taken as one of the few most powerful nations in the world.

But then, there’s something else bothering me. I like games. I like to watch feats of skill. However, the attention it gets seems to me to be way out of proportion. Michael Phelps is best in 8 short races, two of which he participated in as a member of a relay team, and he is being hailed as the greatest Olympian of all time. It’s as if he were one of the Gods on Olympus—or one of the half-breed bastards they supposedly littered Greece with. An Achilles, perhaps? And for what? For being fast in a pool?

Well he’s one million dollars richer now, and I’m sure he’s put in the work, and deserves it. He’s going to take a break now, he says. Will he come back in four years? Will he do something else next, like become a full time shill for corporate internationale? I’m sorry, it somehow seems not nearly as noble as people imply. Don’t get me wrong. I love watching the Olympics, but I just don’t quite trust them any more.

allengreen's avatar

@daloon—now we gotta work hard to elect McCain President so Phelps can get tax breaks! Hate to see any of his millions of $$$$ in endorsments end up providing a poor kid in an inner city breakfast before school…..

Bri_L's avatar

@ daloon – that is totally true. I had forgotten the base of the games.

I don’t think it is possible to say Michael Phelps is the greatest olympian of all times. See some good points here: http://www.fluther.com/disc/20720/8-gold-medals-for-mark-phelps-how-big-a-deal-is/. He is, in my opinion, clearly the worlds greatest swimmer right now.

As for what he does now, I guess hell yeah he’s earned it. And after some interviews with his mom and he, the candor and posture he has shown, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he will do the best he can with his money.

Bri_L's avatar

One more comment, I love how negative people get on the person when the media are to blame for the coverage.

lefteh's avatar

You just linked to this discussion :P

Perhaps calling him the greatest Olympian of all time is a personal opinion shared by many members of the media, the world, and myself. However, he is indisputably the most successful Olympian in a single Olympiad. Nobody has ever won as many gold medals in a single Olympic Games as he has. That, to me, is a hell of a big deal.

Also…can a mod please edit the title of this question so that it reads the man’s real name?

Bri_L's avatar

Dumbsh*t race – I WIN! sorry. hehe. That’s what happens when there are two similar questions out there.

chutterhanban's avatar

@ allengreen: Phelps… worked hard to train every day as hard as any other human to attain an unprecedented skill in swimming… consequently he has earned a great deal of money for being the greatest athlete in the world… ever

Joe Schmo… well… didn’t

and no, i will not let you get on me for “hating poor people.” i’m not saying “joe” is any lesser of a person, i’m just asking you to try not to be bitter at mccain for allowing people to keep what they earn

allengreen's avatar

Phelps will be fine, great, he’s wonderful, and all that, good for him.

Allowing people to keep what they earn? Want to elaborate on that, just a little? Don’t just run now!

chutterhanban's avatar

so the simple logic isn’t enough? i’m not here to fall into traps, just to lay it out how it is. good day.

flameboi's avatar

first, try to qualify, then we can talk….

allengreen's avatar

Taxes are the dues for the “country club” we call USA.

You don’t want to pay your dues?

chutterhanban's avatar

I hadn’t heard about McCain’s plan to completely delete all taxation! That’s so weird!

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