Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

I think not.

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34 Replies - 1257 Views - Last Post: 22 August 2008 - 08:20 AM

#1 Amish14  Icon User is offline

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Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:57 AM

I was just on NBC's olympics website and they have a poll asking this question. So far 2/3 of the voters have answered yes to this question. I personally feel this is rediculas.

I'm not arguing with the fact that his is a phenominal athlete and what he has been able to do in the past and what he has done during this olypics already isn't amazing, i'm just saying that its not enough to justify praising him as the OUTRIGHT BEST EVER.

Yes, he has won 9 golds so far and, unless something terrible happens, he will break the record for most golds by an athlete ever. But shouldnt' this statistic be taken with a grain of salt? He is racing in EIGHT events. Granted this is difficult in itself but very few other athletes have the opportunity to compete for so many medals. Not because they aren't good enough, just because their sport doesn't support that many medals.

I'll use basketball as an easy example, not that i think this should be the case...
Our teams are competeing for one medal each. Team olympic champians. Thats all they can win, one team gold. If the olympic committee decided they should have team 3v3, best dunker, best free-throw shooter, best 3 point shooter, bust ball handler, etc. Then our basketball players are suddenly eligable for several medals at the olympics instead of one. If a player won all these competitions two olympics in a row then suddenly HE has the most golds ever, does that make him the best athlete ever? absolutly not.

Anyway, i'll i'm saying is that medal count can't be the only factor in deciding best athlete ever. holding the most medals ever is an outstanding achievment, but it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

What do you think?

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Replies To: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

#2 MarkoDaGeek  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:05 AM

Why can't he be the best American athlete ever? What's wrong with that?
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#3 Sonic88  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:11 AM

Hmmm, interesting point. However, the thing is, the fact that he has successfully competed in all these events and won at the arguably highest level of competition in the world definitely supports the argument. As for the best athlete, thats arguable due to the many different sports and stuff. I would say that he is the best swimmer at the moment. Interesting topic none the less.
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#4 axel  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:17 AM

You are just jealous that millions of girls have a poster of him in a speedo hanging on their wall, and not a picture of you.



Yes I have one too.
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#5 red_4900  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:57 AM

are you a girl? for real? :blink:
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#6 bflosabre91  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 12 August 2008 - 12:23 PM

i would say no to greatest american athlete ever. but i would say yes to greatest american swimmer ever. obviously he is an incredible athlete, but when i hear athlete i think of all around athlete in many different areas. so the greatest american athlete would have to be an incredible athlete all around.i would bet that he prob throws like a girl, and cant catch a football to save his life. maybe he can, idk.but he can swim like a champ

This post has been edited by bflosabre91: 12 August 2008 - 12:24 PM

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#7 MarkoDaGeek  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 12 August 2008 - 01:36 PM

Actually he runs, lifts weights, rides bike etc. to train for what he does. It's not all strictly swimming.
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#8 ibaraku  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 12 August 2008 - 02:12 PM

He definitely is the best at what he does, no question about it, but the best American athlete ever??? I don't think so...
There have been many athletes that have been great in their own sports, How can you one possibly compare a Michael Phelps vs a Michael Jordan??? They are different sports and there is no comparison.
Plus, I just don't think you can call him the best ever when we have had a Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Walter Payton, among many others.
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#9 Winstinology  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 13 August 2008 - 02:52 PM

But none of them have ever won that many golds at the Olympics.. He has title rights in my opinion. Sure, sure, there have been plenty of great American athletes, and it is hard to compare different sports with each other, and I do get your point about not having as many medals per sport. But still, he won that many!

And actually, their calling him the greatest Olympic athlete ever. Not just American. And besides, this is America, and we're bull-headed and cocky, and powerful enough to give him that title. Without having to worry about people like yourself who are just jealous that it's not them on the wall's of millions of girls world wide..


(I'm actually also jealous that I'm not on the wall of millions of girls world wide.) :)
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#10 capty99  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 13 August 2008 - 06:17 PM

Comparing an athlete of one sport to a different sport is stupid.

Therefore the most dominant athlete at one sport would be the best athlete in my opinion. But then there are periods in each sport where one can dominate because the others arent' good, or everyone is awesome and not one can stand out. Example : Tiger Woods is dominant and has elevated the whole game of golf, its obvious in the way the game has changed. Roger Federer on the other hand is percieved by some to be the greatest of all time because of his reign on top... even besting Pete Sampras, but Sampras had competition in the Michael Changs, the Patrick Rafters and the Andre Aggasi's of the world, so his dominance doesn't mean as much.

The whole comparison thing is worthless.

Michael Phelps is the greatest olympian of all time by sheer number of medals, that fact can not be disputed because that is the measure of an olympian...
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#11 jjsaw5  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:53 AM

View Postcapty99, on 13 Aug, 2008 - 09:17 PM, said:

Comparing an athlete of one sport to a different sport is stupid.

Therefore the most dominant athlete at one sport would be the best athlete in my opinion. But then there are periods in each sport where one can dominate because the others arent' good, or everyone is awesome and not one can stand out. Example : Tiger Woods is dominant and has elevated the whole game of golf, its obvious in the way the game has changed. Roger Federer on the other hand is percieved by some to be the greatest of all time because of his reign on top... even besting Pete Sampras, but Sampras had competition in the Michael Changs, the Patrick Rafters and the Andre Aggasi's of the world, so his dominance doesn't mean as much.

The whole comparison thing is worthless.

Michael Phelps is the greatest olympian of all time by sheer number of medals, that fact can not be disputed because that is the measure of an olympian...



Took the words right out of my mouth. Very well put Capty!
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#12 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:02 AM

I would have to say that he is the greatest Olympic athlete ever, and not just American. He now has 11 Gold medals, this Olympics he has 5 Gold and 5 world records. That cannot even be disputed
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#13 born2c0de  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:15 AM

IMHO he's the best (for now ;) )
11 individual medals ain't a joke.
India got its first individual gold medal after a gap of 108 years.
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#14 bflosabre91  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:08 AM

View PostMarkoDaGeek, on 12 Aug, 2008 - 01:36 PM, said:

Actually he runs, lifts weights, rides bike etc. to train for what he does. It's not all strictly swimming.


that may be so, but my point was that he can't outlift, outride, out run most other professional lifters,runners,bikers. so we don't know who the best athlete is. the best athlete ever should be all around talented in all athletics. which Phelps may or may not be, but there really is no way to tell. but hes the best swimmer
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#15 Nova Dragoon  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is Michael Phelps the greatest American athlete ever?

Posted 14 August 2008 - 11:48 AM

Michael Phelps Gold Medal Diet

http://www.guardian....helps.swimming1
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