Michael Phelps Is The Greatest Olympian Of All Time

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by in stitches, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. 7_rocket

    7_rocket Senior member

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    Usian Bolt is a total fucking beast. Greatest is subjective but swimming has too many fucking events. What Usain did is far better than Phelps. IMO of course.
     
  2. Pennglock

    Pennglock Senior member

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    I think Jesse Owens has to enter the conversation somewhere too. Obliterated records that stood for many years. Won gold in the spints AND the long jump. Not to mention the statement of sticking it to both Hitler and the despicable racist FDR.
     
  3. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    thanks smudge, and that is an interesting point.

    while it is an important distinction, i meant only in regards to competing in ones sport, not their character. but that is an important aspect, especially as a role model, and in the olympics where one is supposed to be "sporting" about their sport.
     
  4. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    Hard to tell in 1 on 1 sports sometimes, since the quality of competition is a huge factor.

    Phelps set seven world records during the 2008 games, and held the world record in the 8th event too. That's a pretty high level of domination. What more can you really ask for?
     
  5. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

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    how about NEVER losing in his entire career in any international competition, until his very last match? or going a decade without the opposition even scoring a single point on him? that was Karelin. plus he had this signature move that if you got thrown and landed awkwardly it looked like you could easily get killed or paralyzed. that intimidation factor counts for something I guess... :p
     
  6. Kajak

    Kajak Senior member

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    Make the pool faster by decreasing side wake (make the side of the pool reflect less waves), increasing the angle of the starting blocks, deeper water (I think that's regulated though).

    Greatest Olympian? I'm going to name the longest dominance here. Bridget Fischer, women's kayak, 12 medals, never less than a silver, over 6 games, over 7 olympiads (1984 boycott, career 1980-2004).

    I'll add in:
    Aladár Gerevich in fencing for the same feat of 6 gold medals in 6 different games, except he spanned from 1932 to 1960 - skipping 2 games due to WWII, also insane.

    I was thinking that someone should actually write a good article about this - except put forth arguments for a few athletes, some who were untouchable for a while (Phelps, Bolt), reigning champions for a generation of athletes (anyone who medals in 4 olympics really), and greatest Olympian in sort of a holistic sense, as Smudge put it.
     
  7. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    ^^ that is what i was looking for ^^

    im not nearly the historian enough to bring that up, but i would very interested to hear about that kind of stuff.
     
  8. Kajak

    Kajak Senior member

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    Also worth mentioning is Clara Hughes (Canadian bias showing here), the first athlete to win multiple summer and winter medals. (Cycling/speed skating)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  9. merkur

    merkur Senior member

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    Shane Gould... only swimmer, male or female, to hold every single world freestyle swimming record from 100m to 1500m (achieved this at the age of 15); no track and field athlete could do or ever has done the same. Also won 3 Olympic gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze again at age 15 in 1972 (Munich games) and then promptly retired from competitive swimming age 16.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    Good call


    Another good call


    You had me going until you said "water"


    Your instincts do not betray you. Although, you can increase wake effects with a shallower pool or narrower lanes (which conversely also allows for easier drafting). However, I think the 'faster pool' comments really mean 'better equipment' - iirc there was some controversy a few years back about a suit that put all the old WR's in danger due to lower drag through the water. Likewise the swimming caps and their tight bullet shape.
     
  11. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    why did he retire?
     
  12. merkur

    merkur Senior member

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  13. Neo_Version 7

    Neo_Version 7 Senior member

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  14. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    oops. very interesting though. thanks.

    ---

    i had thought that "faster pool" just meant that the particular crop of swimmers were faster and better as a whole than previous crops.
     
  15. MrGimpy

    MrGimpy Senior member

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    This type of argument is always problematic--comparisons across sports and eras is impossible.

    That said, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the greatest athlete of all time as potentially the greatest Olympian of all time: Jim Thorpe.
     

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