Sunday, August 17, 2008

Phelps and Torres Medal Glories

By now everyone who's following the Olympics probably know about Michael Phelps' EIGHT gold medal.

Is this man for real? He has made Olympics history by winning his eighth gold medal for swimming, the most at a single Olympics, surpassing the legendary and seemingly untouchable mark set by Spitz in 1972. His response to his achievement was also so human and touching:

"I don't know what to feel right now. It's so emotional. All I want to do is go see my mom."

Sometimes these athletes like to remind us they are also just ordinary human beings. Eight gold medals or not, he's still the 23 year old guy with the slightly goofy smile.

Congratulations, man.

With all the media attention on Phelps's extraordinary feats, it's easy to overlook my personal hero, Dara Torres.

Torres won two more silver medals for the Women's 50m Freestyle and Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay. She gave up the 100m Freestyle to focus on her best event, the 50m Freestyle. She wasn't looking to just perform - she was out for the gold - and she was just hundredth of a second short. [more] Just this much! This is one of those moments when you just want to scream.

How did she feel about the results for the 50m Freestyle?

"I'm competitive," Torres said. "I wanted to win a gold, but I gave it my best shot. And I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't have filed my nails last night."

She's definitely an Aries sun sign. :)

Congratulations, Dara. THREE Silver Olympic medals at 41 is awesome, no matter what.

Sidenote: Would you look at the definitions on her arms?


Ana S. said...

He does have a goofy smile. I kind of like how he looks a bit awkward outside of the pool, but once he dives in he's just unbelievable. Dara Torres was great too.

serene said...

Did I ever tell you that Michael Phelps goes to Michigan too? He was a freshman last year. He can't swim for the University though coz he's pro... And because he's the star athlete, he actually doesn't have to attend classes and has a private tutor of sorts. I'm sure we'll be hearing tons more about him when we get back... I'm really happy for him :)

Anonymous said...

Phelps seems like such a good guy on top of all the medal wins. It would be so easy for him to be a jerk. The fact that he isn't, maybe that's his mom's and sisters' doing. And Dara, she rocks!

darkorpheus said...

Nymeth - He looks like a geek actually outside the pool. Which is why it's so amazing that when he's in the water, he's superman. Yay to geek. :)

Serene - Oh yeah - the Michigan bit showed up on Wikipedia. I was wondering for a while if you ever saw him around campus. :)

Phelps is still going for London 2012, so definitely we will be hearing more from him.

But again - what's this about not having to attend clas just because you're a star athlete. Meh.

Did you watch the Table-Tennis finals last night? Can't because I was watching ping-pong just because it's our first Olympic medal in 48 years.

Stefanie - Phelps really seems like an nice guy. Hopes he continues to be like that.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I was so impressed with the way the swimmers acted, especially in comparison to the track athletes that pranced all over the place acting like it was all about them the other night...made me kind of sick to watch. I felt so bad for Torres, missing the gold by the same margin that Phelps won gold the night before. I was actually heartbroken for could see her disappointment and yet she handled it so gracefully.

I like that Phelps is so focused on the sport and bringing the sport into the forefront as opposed to completely focusing on himself. Yes, he had his own personal goals, but they seem to be part of a more long-term goal that includes the sport that gave him this opportunity. Very refreshing to see that in sports. I was equally impressed with Shawn Johnson and how grateful she seemed to be that she won silver medals even though she obviously hoped to win gold. She has exhibited such a great attitude about the whole thing.

purplefugue said...

Yeah to Torres!! She may not have broken any records but she obliterated any stereotype about swimmers past the age of 30.

Hope Phelps returns in London.

darkorpheus said...

Carl - I think Phelps is pretty grounded - swimming is something he does very well - but it's not going to be the only thing in his life. That's what we all need, I think. To know we do something else, and to do our best - but also recognise that life is larger than that one thing.

I think the entire USA gymnastics team deserves credit for putting up with the blatant bias for China.

Those Chinese gymnasts are NOT 16 years old! I don't buy into the argument that Chinese girls look younger than American girls. I HAVE BEEN a 15 year old Chinese girl and I have been to school with many 15 year old Chinese girls. Those girls look barely 13.

To somehow know that the odds are stacked against you, and to still go out and try to win - that takes guts.

Indigo I think I saw an interview somewhere that Phelps mention London will be his last Olympics. He'll be back.