Best Olympian?

Okay, I get it. U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps is a great athlete. He won eight medals at this Olympics, which is a huge feat.

But I don’t think it’s fair to call him the best Olympian ever. In fact, I don’t understand how someone could even begin to qualify for a title like that.

As a buddy said the other day, there are just too many swimming events at the Olympics. That gives Phelps a chance to compete in a lot of events to try to set the record. There’s the freestyle, 100 metre, 200 metres, relay, etc.

But someone who participates in, say, wrestling, won’t get that same opportunity to win as many medals. They’ll have to compete in their one event throughout the Olympics. Carol Huynh, who won the gold medal in women’s wrestling in the 48-kg weight category, won’t have the opportunity to wrestle in other weight classes.

The men’s basketball team doesn’t have the opportunity to play for other medals, but they have to play five or six games to win one medal. Imagine if they had medals for other basketball events. Say the U.S. team the opportunity to play a game for a medal where players could only dunk the ball. Then another where you could only shoot three-pointers. Then they would have the same chance as Phelps did.

But they don’t have that opportunity. I’m not taking anything away from Phelps. His accomplishment is huge.

But I don’t think it’s fair to other athletes to call him the best Olympian ever.



Filed under Sports blogs I like

2 responses to “Best Olympian?

  1. A Bit Of Everything Sports

    Best Olympian ever is difficult to say as it is a subjective thing, but most decorated may be more fitting. However you look at it it was an impressive run.

  2. I think all you can say is that Phelps is the best swimmer at the 2008 Olympics. The gold medal winners can claim that they were the best in their event at the games. I agree that the best Olympian ever is just too subjective. One could argue that the best Olympian is the one who has competed in the most Olympic games. The Russian diver, Dmitri Sautin, has been in 5 Olympic games and won a ton of medals – maybe he is the best ever?

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