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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:32 am 
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mac_d wrote:
I disagree vehemently that Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time. Dude is good, no doubt. But he has a lot of events to compete in. If I'm a pole vaulter I get one event. You can't compare that with the 8 or so Phelps can compete in. And I feel like the physical attributes of those events are similar. It's not like the equivalent of Usian Bolt or Mo Farrah winning the 100m and the 10000m.

I mean no disrespect to the guy. But I actually think it is a huge disrespect to many other athletes to label him the greatest because of the number of medals alone.

Further, I think you could make an argument that someone like Usain Bolt, who has currently entered 6 Olympic Events (I think - 100m, 200m, 4x100m at Beijing and London) and won 6 compares favourably to Phelps who has 21 golds from 25 medals. I'm not making that argument, but I think someone could give it a shot if they wanted. There could be better candidates than Bolt, he just happened to be an easy target.


Rant over. Like I said, no disrespect to Phelps. I don't know if he calls himself the greatest ever. And I don't blame him for competing in every event he thinks he can win in. But it's not a level playing field if medal numbers is the criteria.



And, imo, swimming has too many events anyway.

Phelps still entered 4 games and won at least 1 gold in all of them. And if you say it's easy in swimming to win so many gold medals, he still has more gold medals than top2-3 Olympic swimmers of all time combined. He is really amazing.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:51 am 
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dizlexik wrote:
Phelps still entered 4 games and won at least 1 gold in all of them. And if you say it's easy in swimming to win so many gold medals, he still has more gold medals than top2-3 Olympic swimmers of all time combined. He is really amazing.


Phelps, undoubtedly, is freakishly good. I just really dislike him being called the greatest Olympian on the basis of medal count when that really isn't a level playing field. I'm not saying it's easy. I really didn't say that. I am not belittling him or his accomplishments. But I just don't think he is the greatest Olympian which is how the media crowns him. I do not see how it is fair to compare 8 relatively similar disciplines that swimmers have the ability and training to be world class at, to shot putters or the like where you pretty much have only a single event.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:23 am 
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mac_d wrote:
dizlexik wrote:
Phelps still entered 4 games and won at least 1 gold in all of them. And if you say it's easy in swimming to win so many gold medals, he still has more gold medals than top2-3 Olympic swimmers of all time combined. He is really amazing.


Phelps, undoubtedly, is freakishly good. I just really dislike him being called the greatest Olympian on the basis of medal count when that really isn't a level playing field. I'm not saying it's easy. I really didn't say that. I am not belittling him or his accomplishments. But I just don't think he is the greatest Olympian which is how the media crowns him. I do not see how it is fair to compare 8 relatively similar disciplines that swimmers have the ability and training to be world class at, to shot putters or the like where you pretty much have only a single event.


:thumbup:

As brilliant as Phelps is, i would say athletes such as Jesse Owens deserve greater consideration for the "Greatest Olympian" accolade. Times change and it’s always difficult to compare athletes from different eras & across different sports- but the adversity Owens had to surmount, for me, put greater value on his achievements. Phelps's accomplishments are amazing, numerically, he is head and shoulders above the rest- but this article, written back in 2008, perfectly summarises my thoughts on this.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/4892 ... esse-owens

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:47 am 
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mac_d wrote:
dizlexik wrote:
Phelps still entered 4 games and won at least 1 gold in all of them. And if you say it's easy in swimming to win so many gold medals, he still has more gold medals than top2-3 Olympic swimmers of all time combined. He is really amazing.


Phelps, undoubtedly, is freakishly good. I just really dislike him being called the greatest Olympian on the basis of medal count when that really isn't a level playing field. I'm not saying it's easy. I really didn't say that. I am not belittling him or his accomplishments. But I just don't think he is the greatest Olympian which is how the media crowns him. I do not see how it is fair to compare 8 relatively similar disciplines that swimmers have the ability and training to be world class at, to shot putters or the like where you pretty much have only a single event.


For me it is the longevity to perform at a top level. This is what puts Steve Redgrave and Michael Phelps at the top level of Olympic stardom, not just the numbers. Over so many Olympics and always performing at the top level. Anyone can get to the top spot, with enough skill, hard work and motivation. But the hard part is to remain there. These two did/are doing it well!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:21 am 
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Siao7 wrote:
mac_d wrote:
dizlexik wrote:
Phelps still entered 4 games and won at least 1 gold in all of them. And if you say it's easy in swimming to win so many gold medals, he still has more gold medals than top2-3 Olympic swimmers of all time combined. He is really amazing.


Phelps, undoubtedly, is freakishly good. I just really dislike him being called the greatest Olympian on the basis of medal count when that really isn't a level playing field. I'm not saying it's easy. I really didn't say that. I am not belittling him or his accomplishments. But I just don't think he is the greatest Olympian which is how the media crowns him. I do not see how it is fair to compare 8 relatively similar disciplines that swimmers have the ability and training to be world class at, to shot putters or the like where you pretty much have only a single event.


For me it is the longevity to perform at a top level. This is what puts Steve Redgrave and Michael Phelps at the top level of Olympic stardom, not just the numbers. Over so many Olympics and always performing at the top level. Anyone can get to the top spot, with enough skill, hard work and motivation. But the hard part is to remain there. These two did/are doing it well!


I think that’s a decent point you make. However, to acquire longevity, a competitor needs an innate talent, coupled with the opportunity to showcase it. Owens was never afforded a chance to extend his winning streak/longevity due to the racial discrimination he faced in the USA( affecting his ability to gain sponsorship) & other circumstances beyond his control (outbreak of war).

It's all subjective of course, but IMO, the longevity criterion only works if all competitors have equal opportunities within which to try and obtain it.

EDIT: if you are basing this on longevity across multiple Olympics, perhaps Usain Bolt deserves a mention on your list?

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Last edited by aice on Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:52 pm 
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Just a bit of useless info for those that don't already know but F1 does have a link, albeit a tenuous one, to these Olympics.

The location of the swimming & Tennis centres as well as the Veledrome and other sports is the site of a old F1 circuit.

The great Jacarepagua circuit (Autodromo Nelson Piquet) hosted F1 in 1978, the 1981 to 1989 and personally, although I think most will argue, I preferred this over Interlagos.

Now, along with the old Hockenheim, Osterreichring, Zandvoort and others, sadly this is another track that can only be experienced via You Tube :-((

Image
http://www.nobresdogrid.com.br/site/images/stories/Nobres_do_Grid/NdG_Documento/Raio_X_autodromos/Jacarepagua/jacarepagua%20google.jpg

Image
https://smsprio2016-a.akamaihd.net/news/Cg3Glu/rio2016_fevereiro_parqueolimpico_barra_026_5572_-c-2016_gabrielheusi_heusiaction_0.jpg

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:25 pm 
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aice wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
mac_d wrote:
dizlexik wrote:
Phelps still entered 4 games and won at least 1 gold in all of them. And if you say it's easy in swimming to win so many gold medals, he still has more gold medals than top2-3 Olympic swimmers of all time combined. He is really amazing.


Phelps, undoubtedly, is freakishly good. I just really dislike him being called the greatest Olympian on the basis of medal count when that really isn't a level playing field. I'm not saying it's easy. I really didn't say that. I am not belittling him or his accomplishments. But I just don't think he is the greatest Olympian which is how the media crowns him. I do not see how it is fair to compare 8 relatively similar disciplines that swimmers have the ability and training to be world class at, to shot putters or the like where you pretty much have only a single event.


For me it is the longevity to perform at a top level. This is what puts Steve Redgrave and Michael Phelps at the top level of Olympic stardom, not just the numbers. Over so many Olympics and always performing at the top level. Anyone can get to the top spot, with enough skill, hard work and motivation. But the hard part is to remain there. These two did/are doing it well!


I think that’s a decent point you make. However, to acquire longevity, a competitor needs an innate talent, coupled with the opportunity to showcase it. Owens was never afforded a chance to extend his winning streak/longevity due to the racial discrimination he faced in the USA( affecting his ability to gain sponsorship) & other circumstances beyond his control (outbreak of war).

It's all subjective of course, but IMO, the longevity criterion only works if all competitors have equal opportunities within which to try and obtain it.

EDIT: if you are basing this on longevity across multiple Olympics, perhaps Usain Bolt deserves a mention on your list?

Of course many athletes can be considered the greatest. There is for example ski jumper Noriaki Kasai who won medals in 1994 and 2014 Olympics aged 41. Maybe people are annoyed when they hear about Phelps, but saying that he might be the greatest certainly isn't without merit. You might disagree, but I don't know why people are typing rants.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:57 pm 
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dizlexik wrote:
mac_d wrote:
I disagree vehemently that Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time. Dude is good, no doubt. But he has a lot of events to compete in. If I'm a pole vaulter I get one event. You can't compare that with the 8 or so Phelps can compete in. And I feel like the physical attributes of those events are similar. It's not like the equivalent of Usian Bolt or Mo Farrah winning the 100m and the 10000m.

I mean no disrespect to the guy. But I actually think it is a huge disrespect to many other athletes to label him the greatest because of the number of medals alone.

Further, I think you could make an argument that someone like Usain Bolt, who has currently entered 6 Olympic Events (I think - 100m, 200m, 4x100m at Beijing and London) and won 6 compares favourably to Phelps who has 21 golds from 25 medals. I'm not making that argument, but I think someone could give it a shot if they wanted. There could be better candidates than Bolt, he just happened to be an easy target.


Rant over. Like I said, no disrespect to Phelps. I don't know if he calls himself the greatest ever. And I don't blame him for competing in every event he thinks he can win in. But it's not a level playing field if medal numbers is the criteria.



And, imo, swimming has too many events anyway.

Phelps still entered 4 games and won at least 1 gold in all of them. And if you say it's easy in swimming to win so many gold medals, he still has more gold medals than top2-3 Olympic swimmers of all time combined. He is really amazing.

So, what about the GB rower, Steve Redgrave? I think it was gold medals in five consecutive games for him. Surely that's better than gold medals in four Olympics?
My problem with someone winning lots of medals in swimming is that it's just being confirmed as a really good swimmer and they could have as many distances as they like. It's a bit like having table tennis matches of 11 points up to best of 9 and then having another 10 events that are up to 21 points or 40 points or 51 points and so on. The skill doesn't really change because you change how long you do it for. It's still really only one event.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:24 pm 
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flyboy10 wrote:
dizlexik wrote:
mac_d wrote:
I disagree vehemently that Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time. Dude is good, no doubt. But he has a lot of events to compete in. If I'm a pole vaulter I get one event. You can't compare that with the 8 or so Phelps can compete in. And I feel like the physical attributes of those events are similar. It's not like the equivalent of Usian Bolt or Mo Farrah winning the 100m and the 10000m.

I mean no disrespect to the guy. But I actually think it is a huge disrespect to many other athletes to label him the greatest because of the number of medals alone.

Further, I think you could make an argument that someone like Usain Bolt, who has currently entered 6 Olympic Events (I think - 100m, 200m, 4x100m at Beijing and London) and won 6 compares favourably to Phelps who has 21 golds from 25 medals. I'm not making that argument, but I think someone could give it a shot if they wanted. There could be better candidates than Bolt, he just happened to be an easy target.


Rant over. Like I said, no disrespect to Phelps. I don't know if he calls himself the greatest ever. And I don't blame him for competing in every event he thinks he can win in. But it's not a level playing field if medal numbers is the criteria.



And, imo, swimming has too many events anyway.

Phelps still entered 4 games and won at least 1 gold in all of them. And if you say it's easy in swimming to win so many gold medals, he still has more gold medals than top2-3 Olympic swimmers of all time combined. He is really amazing.

So, what about the GB rower, Steve Redgrave? I think it was gold medals in five consecutive games for him. Surely that's better than gold medals in four Olympics?
My problem with someone winning lots of medals in swimming is that it's just being confirmed as a really good swimmer and they could have as many distances as they like. It's a bit like having table tennis matches of 11 points up to best of 9 and then having another 10 events that are up to 21 points or 40 points or 51 points and so on. The skill doesn't really change because you change how long you do it for. It's still really only one event.

While there is something to be said about the number of events available to swimmers, and it might be more accurate to say that Phelps is the most decorated instead of the best Olympic athlete your last point is way off.

That's like saying that there's no difference between the 100 meters and the marathon because it's all just running and there's no change in the skill set. You don't see the top swimmers at 50m also being being a top swimmer at the longer events anymore than you do runners who excel at both 100 and 10000 meters.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:02 pm 
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Woohoo! Two lads from Leeds won GB's first ever diving gold. Chuffed!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:51 pm 
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dizlexik wrote:
aice wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
mac_d wrote:
dizlexik wrote:
Phelps still entered 4 games and won at least 1 gold in all of them. And if you say it's easy in swimming to win so many gold medals, he still has more gold medals than top2-3 Olympic swimmers of all time combined. He is really amazing.


Phelps, undoubtedly, is freakishly good. I just really dislike him being called the greatest Olympian on the basis of medal count when that really isn't a level playing field. I'm not saying it's easy. I really didn't say that. I am not belittling him or his accomplishments. But I just don't think he is the greatest Olympian which is how the media crowns him. I do not see how it is fair to compare 8 relatively similar disciplines that swimmers have the ability and training to be world class at, to shot putters or the like where you pretty much have only a single event.


For me it is the longevity to perform at a top level. This is what puts Steve Redgrave and Michael Phelps at the top level of Olympic stardom, not just the numbers. Over so many Olympics and always performing at the top level. Anyone can get to the top spot, with enough skill, hard work and motivation. But the hard part is to remain there. These two did/are doing it well!


I think that’s a decent point you make. However, to acquire longevity, a competitor needs an innate talent, coupled with the opportunity to showcase it. Owens was never afforded a chance to extend his winning streak/longevity due to the racial discrimination he faced in the USA( affecting his ability to gain sponsorship) & other circumstances beyond his control (outbreak of war).

It's all subjective of course, but IMO, the longevity criterion only works if all competitors have equal opportunities within which to try and obtain it.

EDIT: if you are basing this on longevity across multiple Olympics, perhaps Usain Bolt deserves a mention on your list?

Of course many athletes can be considered the greatest. There is for example ski jumper Noriaki Kasai who won medals in 1994 and 2014 Olympics aged 41. Maybe people are annoyed when they hear about Phelps, but saying that he might be the greatest certainly isn't without merit. You might disagree, but I don't know why people are typing rants.


Having read more about Noriaki Kasai, his sporting achievements are indeed very impressive.

They are all talented/skilled individuals. To answer the question of who is the greatest Olympian, really depends upon which criterion you value most when judging “greatness”.

If it’s sheer numbers of gold medals, regardless of the discipline, then it’s hard to look past Phelps. The caveat is him having more opportunities/events in which to increase his tally. But then I suppose you have to examine what variation of skill is needed to succeed in the different swim disciplines. How difficult is it to adapt from say butterfly to freestyle? Are the skills as easily transferable as perceived?
If it’s sustaining a high level over a consecutively long period (longevity), then i suppose Redgrave’s your man. But what could Jesse Owens have achieved if world war and discrimination not interrupted his momentum? He never got the chance to chase longevity.
It it's overcoming adversity and making a political/humanitarian impact, then it has to be Jesse Owens.
If it’s who can not only excel, but also transcend sport , perhaps it's Bolt.

There’s a good case to be made for a number of athletes. It’s an interesting discussion.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:45 am 
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We went through this last Olympics. Yes, Bolt is a great runner... but to say he has it tougher or as tough as does Phelps, doesn't float. All Bolt has to do is run. If all Phelps did was to swim the 50, 100, & 200 freestyle, then he would indeed have less medals, but then he would also have only freestyle to focus on. There is nothing that I am aware of that says that Bolt can't take on other disciplines as wll, thereby giving him more events to win medals in. Of course that would mean training for those other events as well... would he then be as good in the running events? You say that a Pole Vaulter has but one event... but that is his/her choice, there are MANY other events available to the athlete. A swimmer could, and some do, choose to specialize in one discipline, if they do that, their chances at medals are every bit as limited as those of the Pole Vaulter you use as an example.

Do you realize that Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly and especially Breaststroke, require different skill sets. The IM, of which Phelps has several of his medals (both 200IM and 400im) along with World Records, require a degree of excellence in each of them in ONE event. Of course, track has the decathalon and pentathalon, but that would be unrealistic for Bolt to do that, but that is kind of what the swimming IM is like. Just like all of track and field, is not all running, not all of swimming is freestyle. You, and those 4 years ago, seem to be lumping all swimming events into one skill. Sprint running and long jump and discus are totally different events... a swimming afficionado can make the same claim, and I do, that the same should be said of the 4 swimming discipines.

Yes, Phelps has had more events to win medals in, no question, but while you see the Phelps argument as a "huge disrespect" to other athletes, I would suggest to hold it against him that he has competed in a number of different Olympics and a number of different events is a "huge disrespect" to Phelps.

Your opinion that Swimming has too many different events, it is unlikely that I have changed your mind. I would like to ask you this question though, as you held up Bolt as an example... how many events are there in Track and Field? There is not much difference in the number of events.

One last thing, Micheal Phelps as over twice as many Olympic Golds as any other Olympic athlete...and that was done over a 20 year Olympic career... five Olympics. He did not win a medal in his first Olympics in 2000, so all the medals (and those yet to come) have come in four Olympics.. a minimum of three golds in each olympics and at least two individual Golds (as opposed to relay wins) each of the previous three, with one for sure in Rio. Bolt is in his third Olympics, will he still be competing in two more? If so, will he still be winning Gold in 2024?

No more disrespect for Bolt than you have for Phelps, but to quote you, I "vehemently" disagree with your assesment. Yes, Phelps is "good"....
;)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:19 am 
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Blake wrote:
No more disrespect for Bolt than you have for Phelps, but to quote you, I "vehemently" disagree with your assesment. Yes, Phelps is "good"....
;)


In fairness, with hindsight I'd either delete "vehemently" or change the rest of that sentence to "definitely the greatest". I'd also add, and I felt I made this clear but perhaps my phrasing wasn't great. I do not mean any disrespect to Phelps. I was not intending to suggest he definitely isn't the greatest. I just think arguments can be made that the greatest is someone else. I think that medal count alone is not the absolute be-all and end-all of the discussion.

Perhaps this is semantics. What is the "greatest Olympian"? Is that simply who has most Gold medals? Is it longevity? Is it the cultural impact? Is it who embodies the "Olympic spirit"? Is it other criteria, is it a combination? What weighting do we give to each category.

BBC article I wish had been written a day or two sooner so I could have just posted a link and asked the question in a different way.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/37037571

Anyway, for clarity I wasn't trying to be a dick to Phelps. I wasn't trying to belittle his crazy amounts of success. I'm not trying to be a dick with these posts. My issue was never that he shouldn't be called greatest,I just think that greatest Olympian is worth more debate than simply being a gold medal measuring contest alone which is the way it's been framed. I also admit, I do not know enough about swimming to have made some of the inferences I did. I feel like I'm digging a hole deeper and deeper. I'll shut up now and I'll keep my possibly, probably, ill-thought opinions to myself.


Last edited by mac_d on Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:11 am 
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I had a longish reply that for some reason didn't post. The thing is that there are differences in the sports and how you measure them. You cannot simply just say that one single guy or lady is the greatest Olympic athlete.

Someone thinks that Phelps has it easy with so many events to pick medals from? Why don't the rest of the swimmers have 20 golds then? They all race together. That's bull, he is a great specimen that has lasted for a long time and overshadowed his peers. Awesome to watch history in the making.

Another view is people who you can't see with numbers but have dominated their sport. Bubka comes to mind. This guy broke the pole vault record something like 30 times. There was a period in the early 90's that he was breaking his own record every couple of months. I remember watching him in the Athens World Championships in '97, we were there for the whole afternoon to see him (he was the big name) but he only came out to compete for 5'. He was so much better that while all the others were struggling to make it through the limit, he just appeared, warmed up, did his jump and left. He was really 2 notches above his peers. We were gutted.

He, however, has "only" one Olympic gold. He chocked, got injured, whatever the reason, the guy never made Olympic history. How could I discredit him from being the top athlete in his sport though?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:23 am 
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If Bolt wins all 3 medals next week then he is up there with Phelps IMO.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:20 am 
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Personally I don't enjoy swimming. Like mac_d said, there's just too many events for me to get excited by it in general or appreciate the number of medals that Phelps has won. It's obviously very popular with a lot of people and not just American's supporting with their home grown superstar, the amount of coverage the BBC give it in the UK shows me that.

What is impressive with Phelps as has also been said above is the longevity of him winning gold. This is much more important to me as a stat than the number he's won. And as he started and got competitive when he was still relatively young, it's not inconceivable for him to make it to 6 games.

(on a completely unrelated side note, the Princess Bride is one of my favorite films ever and I'm so happy I've finally been able to use the word inconceivable :) )

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:48 am 
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minchy wrote:
Personally I don't enjoy swimming. Like mac_d said, there's just too many events for me to get excited by it in general or appreciate the number of medals that Phelps has won. It's obviously very popular with a lot of people and not just American's supporting with their home grown superstar, the amount of coverage the BBC give it in the UK shows me that.

What is impressive with Phelps as has also been said above is the longevity of him winning gold. This is much more important to me as a stat than the number he's won. And as he started and got competitive when he was still relatively young, it's not inconceivable for him to make it to 6 games.

(on a completely unrelated side note, the Princess Bride is one of my favorite films ever and I'm so happy I've finally been able to use the word inconceivable :) )


Haha, nice!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:15 am 
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Holy Cow.... What a job by Phelps in the IM... 4th straight Gold in an event that requires excellence in 4 different swimming disciplines. I am a bit fearful of his upcoming Fly semi final. 30 minutes between events is just not enough, but if anyone can do it, Phelps can.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:22 pm 
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What an amazing performance from Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana - smashing the 10,000 metres world record by a staggering 14 seconds! Astonishing! 8O

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:04 pm 
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Dutch gymnast Yuri Van Gelder who instead of going to bed, decided to enjoy the Rio nightlife. The coach axed him from the team and was sent home the next day.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/news/ba ... spartanntp

Egyptian Judoka I.E. Shahaby after losing his bout to Israeli Judoka Or Sasson. Sasson extended his hand for a handshake. But boos were heard after El-Shahaby refuse to shake his hand. But by regulation, the referee called him back to make his bow.

http://www.usnews.com/news/sports/artic ... nents-hand

I hope he gets a lifetime band and join Cuban Tae-kwon-do Angel Matos who was given a lifetime ban for striking the referee.


US Women Soccer out of the tourney after losing to Sweden in a penalty shootout.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:10 am 
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(American) General George S. Patton competed in the 1912 Olympics in the Pentathlon. Thought that was an interesting fact.

NFL Network has a thing about NFL guys who also appeared at the Olympics. Jim Thorpe was their number one so I typed his name into Wikipedia. He won Gold in the Pentathlon and Decathlon in 1912, lost the medals as he had been paid for playing baseball and then later had his medals reinstated. In the same year he won the (or maybe a) intercollegiate ballroom dancing competition.

If anyone happens to know Pennsylvania, there is a town named after him.
Made the Hall of Fame for the following: NFL, College (American) Football, American Olympics, American Track and Field
Nixon made a Jim Thorpe day to celebrate him (it was only a one off unlike MLK or the like but still a helluva thing)
Got his face on a stamp
Will be on the new US dollar coins in 2018.

His Wikipedia page is super interesting and worth reading if anyone has time - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Thorpe


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:10 pm 
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Jim Thorpe is the man!

Unfortunately his later life wasn't the best and to this day there's a squabble between his home town in Oklahoma and the town in Pennsylvania over his remains.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:01 pm 
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RaggedMan wrote:
Jim Thorpe is the man!

Unfortunately his later life wasn't the best and to this day there's a squabble between his home town in Oklahoma and the town in Pennsylvania over his remains.


Yeah, that part of his Wiki wasn't a happy read. I'd never heard of him until this morning. His Wikpedia page definitely ranks among the most interesting I've read in a while. It covers the slightly odd circumstances of his body being buried in a place he'd never been after being "stolen" by his wife and sold to try and help a town attract business. That almost sounds so crazy that it feels like someone made a joke edit to the Wiki, but it isn't.

He also played (american) football against Dwight Eisenhower. So in terms of sports he competed with two of the great American generals of WWII (other being Patton as mentioned previously). That seems like a really odd coincidence to me. I think I might need to go on Amazon and invest in a book on Thorpe.

Another cool tidbit about Thorpe. He couldn't afford a ticket to the 1932 Olympics in the town where he lived (LA) so despite it being the Great Depression folks sent him money and he got a standing ovation from 105,000 folk when taking his seat!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:34 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
If Bolt wins all 3 medals next week then he is up there with Phelps IMO.

100% agree with you!

I think Michael Phelps is a phenomenal athlete and certainly the best all around swimmer to ever live but I think people need some perspective when it comes to swimming some times. As of today, there are a total of 8 athletes in the 2016 Olympics who have won 4 medals or more and ALL of them are swimmers! Simone Biles will probably get to at least 4 before the games are over but she's literally the best female gymnast ever!

There are simply too many events in swimming and the events are too similar to one another; such that the same person can easily walk home with several medals. There are swimmers walking home with 2 or 3 medals who you've never even heard of and who are not anywhere near the best at their sport.

Funny thing is that it wasn't always that way. Back in 1952 there were a total of 6 swimming events for men and 5 for women. By 1968 that number had ballooned to 15 for men and 14 for women and today it's 16 a piece. It's just excessive IMO and I don't think it's fair to the other athletes who are not swimmers.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:34 pm 
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Just what perspect is that, sandman? That Phelps has more than twice as many Olympic gold medals as any athlete in history? More than many countries. Even if you took HALF of the medals and events away from him, his medal accomplishments are still phnomenal and greater than any other. Add the fact that this is his 5th Olympics and that he did not medal in the first ones, I fail to understand what "perspective" is going to be applied to lessen what he has done... though I have no doubt that something will be.
;)


So again with the too many events in swimming, yet ignoring the fact that the number of Athletic events is about the same. To say the events are too similar is to ignore the distinct differences in the strokes. If you really knew swimming, you would understand, nor would you make comments about the stroked being "too similar". I was involved in swimming for over 30 years, 15 of them as a competitive swim coach... and I can tell you that the different strokes as similar as running events are to the hurdles and the long jump. And yes, I know track as well... four kids who competed in high school track for four years each.

Again, to penalize swimmers because they have multiple events to choose from is to ignore the fact that the every track athletes you claim are "disadvantaged" have other event options that they CHOOSE not compete in. Most swimmers do not competed in all swimming disciplines (a great example being the great breaststroker Adam Peaty, world record holder, but that being his only stroke), choosing to specialize in one or two strokes, however to those who do choose to train for multiplle disciplines, and who do it well... such in the Individual Medley, they should be honored for their versatility and their excellence, not have their accomplishments demeaned with comments of how they have it "easy" to get medals. Just because all the events take place in a swimming pool it does not mean that they are any more similar than all the events that take place on a track or on a bicycle or a field.

Lastly, about the 8 athletes who have won 4 medals or more and all of them being swimmers thus far... so what does that mean? It means that those ahtletes excelled enough to win said medals, and that the swimming events where held in the first week. I'd suggest that anyone thinking that it is easy to win a medal in swimming join a local swim club and come back and share how "easy" it is with the rest of us. BTW, to say that it is not "fair" to the other athletes is, in my opinion, bullsh!t. All athletes have their choices... it is not "fair" to criticize the swimmers for having chosen their sport, their disciplines, and their events.

Question for those critical of the swimming accomplishments... How successful do you think Usain Bolt would be if he also trained for the Hurdles and Long Jump? You have to realize that he does have that choice... he is not restricted by the rules. Would that additional training affect his 50 & 100s? Would he excell in all of them? Be it swimmers, or Simone Biles,.. they made their choices... as Usain has done as well... his is to to limit his number of events... period.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:43 pm 
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Blake, If you read my post, you'd see that I never once made a disparaging comment about Michael Phelps or about swimming. I have huge respect for Michael Phelps and I think he's a great athlete. I don't begrudge swimmers their medals but I have a problem with people comparing them to athletes from other sports simply by counting medals. It's not a valid methodology. You seem not to fully grasp the realities of track and field but I will try to illustrate why what you've said is not correct.

It's not that track athletes simply choose to do fewer events. It's that it is actually not possible for a track athlete to do as many events at a world class level. The type of track athlete who wins the 200 is a totally different type from the one who wins the 1500. In swimming, we have 2 CURRENT swimmers who have won the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 at the Olympics and/or world championships (Katie Ledecky and Sun Yang). In track and field there is one man who has EVER won the 200 and 400 in the same Olympics (Michael Johnson) and he certainly didn't do the 800 or 1500 (no sprinter could possibly win a middle distance event). It is literally not humanly possible for one person to be the best over all four of those distances on a track.

When I say that the events are too similar, that's what I mean. The same human body can be the best in all of those events/distances in swimming. In track and field, that's simply not the case and to suggest that it's all down to choice is totally incorrect.

You must also understand that track is an impact sport; which limits the amount of training you can do and greatly increases the recovery time between performances. Swimming is a non-impact sport so swimmers can train and compete in far more events. There are also numerous relay events. Michael Phelps gets 3 medals at every Olympics from relays alone. He has more gold medals from relays than any other athlete has in total! There are 2 relays in track and no athlete competes in both of them.

A final point I'd make is that the talent pool in track and field is exponentially deeper than it is in swimming. There are more than 50 times as many athletes who compete in track and field competitively globally. In fact, you'll never see a competitive swim team come from a place like Jamaica or Kenya because only the wealthier countries can produce high caliber Olympic swimming teams. The top teams are always from USA, Australia, Japan, UK, etc. You need to build Olympic swimming pools and facilities and poor countries just can't afford to do it. They can produce great track teams though as there is almost no economic barrier to entry in that sport.

So yeah, Phelps is great and I'm actually a big fan but let's not try to compare him to athletes from other sports simply by counting medals. Swimming gives away medals like they're going out of style. There are totally valid arguments in his favor; such as his longevity and the huge gap between his achievements and those of his peers.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:26 am 
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Another Olympic gold for Andy Murray! What a brilliant day it’s been for Team GB - 5 gold medals! Impressive! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:10 am 
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That was amazing to see Van Niekerk break Michael Johnson's record in the 400! 8O


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:47 am 
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Bolt wins 100m for a third time. Absolute legend.

I especially love that, given Bolt's start, Gatlin must've thought he was going to win. :twisted:


By the way, I won't be at all surprised if the 400m winner is in the news a few days from now..... It seemed like he was not getting tired at all. It seemed like he was running faster at 350m than he was at 100m. I hope he's legit, though. It was amazing to watch.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:50 am 
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sandman1347 wrote:
Blake, If you read my post, you'd see that I never once made a disparaging comment about Michael Phelps or about swimming. I have huge respect for Michael Phelps and I think he's a great athlete. I don't begrudge swimmers their medals but I have a problem with people comparing them to athletes from other sports simply by counting medals. It's not a valid methodology. You seem not to fully grasp the realities of track and field but I will try to illustrate why what you've said is not correct.

Yes, you do seem to begrude the swimmers their medals... and have done so again in this post. Now, ayou suggest that I do not grasp the "realities of track and field"... seriously? As I said in an earlier post, I had my own children competing in Track and Field for several years, and I followed them closely. Each of my "kids" have done high school sports, two with college scholarships (one in track and field .. a runner.. and one in swimming... she turned down a track scholarshiop offer). Each of them has done post college athletes with my 38 year old "swimmer" having last week just ccompleted an Ironman Triathlon in 25 place out of over a 1000 women of all ages... 140.6 miles of high altitude hell. I may not be a track athlete myself (college tennis for me).. but I am not sure what makes your opinion so much more valid than mine. Then again, I suspect I could say that you don't appear to grasp the "realities of swimming", not that it seems to matter.

It's not that track athletes simply choose to do fewer events. It's that it is actually not possible for a track athlete to do as many events at a world class level. The type of track athlete who wins the 200 is a totally different type from the one who wins the 1500. In swimming, we have 2 CURRENT swimmers who have won the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 at the Olympics and/or world championships (Katie Ledecky and Sun Yang). In track and field there is one man who has EVER won the 200 and 400 in the same Olympics (Michael Johnson) and he certainly didn't do the 800 or 1500 (no sprinter could possibly win a middle distance event). It is literally not humanly possible for one person to be the best over all four of those distances on a track.


Guess what... the swimmer who does the 200 is not usually the swimmer who does the 1500 either... or in the case of the women, the 800 (Ledecky and Yang being extraordinarily rare). It is EXACTLY the same... if you train for sprints, then the distance events are tough... Why do you think it only applies to running in track. You say it is not humanly possible for a track athlete to do all four... then why is swimming a 200, 400, 800 and 1500 supposedly any easier? Katie Ledecky, is, as I said, an extraordinary person to be able to compete in distances from 100 thru 1500 and do it very well... I have never seen that before. Even the great Janet Evans was not able to do that. They are the same distances as the runners have... so what makes running more difficult? Just because no one has chosen to do the 200, 400 and 800 in track does not mean it is impossible or that it will never happen... it only means that no one has done it...nothing more. They are all running events, nothing more. the 200, 400 and 800 are freestyle swimming events, nothing more. The difference is a swimmer has chosen to them all in these Olympics.


When I say that the events are too similar, that's what I mean. The same human body can be the best in all of those events/distances in swimming. In track and field, that's simply not the case and to suggest that it's all down to choice is totally incorrect.

Totally incorrect?
Care to tell me what is involved in the Butterfly in swimming? Perhaps you can tell me about the discipline known as the Breaststroke... Swimming events are so similar? Yes get they are, they are all done in the water. Why can the body NOT be good in something more than just running events? Why can a runner NOT be able to do the Long Jump? Why could they NOT be able to High Jump or Triple Jump? I know of a high school athlete who held the school record in the the 100, & 200, and the low hurdles... he also qualified for the state finals in the Triple Jump and Long Jump, and just missed making it in the 300 high hurdles. Admittedly that was in high school, but still he was an exeptional athlete who took on the challenge of multiple disciplines and did them well. Why is it impossible to think that an Olympic athlete could not do more than one discipline? I think it is ridiculous to think that the rare athlete might not come along and do just that.


You must also understand that track is an impact sport; which limits the amount of training you can do and greatly increases the recovery time between performances. Swimming is a non-impact sport so swimmers can train and compete in far more events. There are also numerous relay events. Michael Phelps gets 3 medals at every Olympics from relays alone. He has more gold medals from relays than any other athlete has in total! There are 2 relays in track and no athlete competes in both of them.

Oh, track is an "impact" sport... well, I could say that swimming is a "drowning" sport. Just as valid as the impact threat.
;)

Do you really want to bring up recovery time? Many of the swimmers had to compete in a different event within minutes of finishing another. Example, Michael Phelps wins gold in the IM and and 38minutes later takes off on the 100 Fly. If you really understood how draining the Butterfly is, you would not make that claim... and.. there was a Butterfly leg in the IM as well. You see, a swimmer has to use both his arms and his legs in a stroke... the arms have to do more than pump and create rythm. As for the relays, yes, there are 3 relays in swimming. and yes, an athelete may compete in each of the three... if they make that team. 4 x 200 free relay, 4 x 100 IM and 3x 100 Free. Why track does not have a 4 x 200 relay I don't know, but why penailze those in swimming who do earn a place on each of the relays.

Yes, Michael Phelps does get medals from 3 relays per Olympics... no argument. So, to be "fair" LOL, let us take 8 of those relay medals away from him... to be "fair". We can just ignore that they represented yet another event, and other than the last relay of the games, more recoveries before the next events. So we will just toss all of that aside. Now... all we have left is 16 Gold medals... only 16 left. 13 of which are Gold. He apparently failed in a few "easy" events with no competition on 3 occasions to only finish second twice and third once.


A final point I'd make is that the talent pool in track and field is exponentially deeper than it is in swimming. There are more than 50 times as many athletes who compete in track and field competitively globally. In fact, you'll never see a competitive swim team come from a place like Jamaica or Kenya because only the wealthier countries can produce high caliber Olympic swimming teams. The top teams are always from USA, Australia, Japan, UK, etc. You need to build Olympic swimming pools and facilities and poor countries just can't afford to do it. They can produce great track teams though as there is almost no economic barrier to entry in that sport.

More than 50 times as many athletes? Perhaps. So what? It is the number of athletes competing in the Olympics that matter. Just having bigger numbers does not guarantee greater competition levels. I fully understand that many countries will not have competitive swimming competition... hence the US has MANY foriegn swimmers competing from those countries. Still, I do understand your point, but my counter to that is that one you get to the Olympics, there are the best of the best (usually), and in swimming, unlike track, only two swimmers from a given country allowed to compete in an individual event and but one team in relays. BTW, Gymnastics also limit the individual events to two from a given country. Track allows more, and to be honest, I do not undertand why and might suggest that it is "unfair" to the other sports. The USA left swimmers home who might well have medaled in the Olympics due to the limit of two to an event. All of that said, I agree with the limit of two athletes per event... feel it should apply to all events.


So yeah, Phelps is great and I'm actually a big fan but let's not try to compare him to athletes from other sports simply by counting medals. Swimming gives away medals like they're going out of style. There are totally valid arguments in his favor; such as his longevity and the huge gap between his achievements and those of his peers.

Ok..let us toss out the Medals. We best do that for track as well as they give out medals "like they are going out of style" as well, something that keeps getting overlooked. Shall we use World Records and Olympic Records? Not counting Relay records, Phelps has broken 5 World Records and 4 Olympic records in individual events... two WR in 400 Individual Medley, which encompasses all 4 stroke disciplines. and yes, as you note, it has been 16 years since Phelps first Olympics and yet, at the age of 31 he won two individual gold and a silver this year to go with the relay wins. I like this year's Phelps more than any previous version. It seems as though his rough period has finally forced him to grow up. This year he has been a Leader, and has shown a much greater maturity.

Lastly, I have yet to hear Phelps refer to himself as the "Legend"... he does't need to... but then, neither does Usain.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:51 am 
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SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
Bolt wins 100m for a third time. Absolute legend.

I especially love that, given Bolt's start, Gatlin must've thought he was going to win. :twisted:


By the way, I won't be at all surprised if the 400m winner is in the news a few days from now..... It seemed like he was not getting tired at all. It seemed like he was running faster at 350m than he was at 100m. I hope he's legit, though. It was amazing to watch.


On that subject...

Actually, I am glad that Gatlin did not win... Given his history with bans, it would have been as shame to see him beat Bolt.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:09 am 
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Blake wrote:
We went through this last Olympics. Yes, Bolt is a great runner... but to say he has it tougher or as tough as does Phelps, doesn't float. All Bolt has to do is run. If all Phelps did was to swim the 50, 100, & 200 freestyle, then he would indeed have less medals, but then he would also have only freestyle to focus on. There is nothing that I am aware of that says that Bolt can't take on other disciplines as wll, thereby giving him more events to win medals in. Of course that would mean training for those other events as well... would he then be as good in the running events? You say that a Pole Vaulter has but one event... but that is his/her choice, there are MANY other events available to the athlete. A swimmer could, and some do, choose to specialize in one discipline, if they do that, their chances at medals are every bit as limited as those of the Pole Vaulter you use as an example.

Do you realize that Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly and especially Breaststroke, require different skill sets. The IM, of which Phelps has several of his medals (both 200IM and 400im) along with World Records, require a degree of excellence in each of them in ONE event. Of course, track has the decathalon and pentathalon, but that would be unrealistic for Bolt to do that, but that is kind of what the swimming IM is like. Just like all of track and field, is not all running, not all of swimming is freestyle. You, and those 4 years ago, seem to be lumping all swimming events into one skill. Sprint running and long jump and discus are totally different events... a swimming afficionado can make the same claim, and I do, that the same should be said of the 4 swimming discipines.

Yes, Phelps has had more events to win medals in, no question, but while you see the Phelps argument as a "huge disrespect" to other athletes, I would suggest to hold it against him that he has competed in a number of different Olympics and a number of different events is a "huge disrespect" to Phelps.

Your opinion that Swimming has too many different events, it is unlikely that I have changed your mind. I would like to ask you this question though, as you held up Bolt as an example... how many events are there in Track and Field? There is not much difference in the number of events.

One last thing, Micheal Phelps as over twice as many Olympic Golds as any other Olympic athlete...and that was done over a 20 year Olympic career... five Olympics. He did not win a medal in his first Olympics in 2000, so all the medals (and those yet to come) have come in four Olympics.. a minimum of three golds in each olympics and at least two individual Golds (as opposed to relay wins) each of the previous three, with one for sure in Rio. Bolt is in his third Olympics, will he still be competing in two more? If so, will he still be winning Gold in 2024?

No more disrespect for Bolt than you have for Phelps, but to quote you, I "vehemently" disagree with your assesment. Yes, Phelps is "good"....
;)


This.

Bolt is a legend, no question, but IMO what it would take to put Bolt up there with Phelps, I'd have to see Bolt medal in 100m, 200m, 400m, 1x100m relay, 1x400m relay, 110m hurdles, and 400m hurdles.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:13 am 
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Blake wrote:
SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
Bolt wins 100m for a third time. Absolute legend.

I especially love that, given Bolt's start, Gatlin must've thought he was going to win. :twisted:


By the way, I won't be at all surprised if the 400m winner is in the news a few days from now..... It seemed like he was not getting tired at all. It seemed like he was running faster at 350m than he was at 100m. I hope he's legit, though. It was amazing to watch.


On that subject...

Actually, I am glad that Gatlin did not win... Given his history with bans, it would have been as shame to see him beat Bolt.


Yeah, though IMO it's a shame that he is still allowed to compete. Should have been banned for life.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:18 am 
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Blake wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Blake, If you read my post, you'd see that I never once made a disparaging comment about Michael Phelps or about swimming. I have huge respect for Michael Phelps and I think he's a great athlete. I don't begrudge swimmers their medals but I have a problem with people comparing them to athletes from other sports simply by counting medals. It's not a valid methodology. You seem not to fully grasp the realities of track and field but I will try to illustrate why what you've said is not correct.

Yes, you do seem to begrude the swimmers their medals... and have done so again in this post. Now, ayou suggest that I do not grasp the "realities of track and field"... seriously? As I said in an earlier post, I had my own children competing in Track and Field for several years, and I followed them closely. Each of my "kids" have done high school sports, two with college scholarships (one in track and field .. a runner.. and one in swimming... she turned down a track scholarshiop offer). Each of them has done post college athletes with my 38 year old "swimmer" having last week just ccompleted an Ironman Triathlon in 25 place out of over a 1000 women of all ages... 140.6 miles of high altitude hell. I may not be a track athlete myself (college tennis for me).. but I am not sure what makes your opinion so much more valid than mine. Then again, I suspect I could say that you don't appear to grasp the "realities of swimming", not that it seems to matter.

It's not that track athletes simply choose to do fewer events. It's that it is actually not possible for a track athlete to do as many events at a world class level. The type of track athlete who wins the 200 is a totally different type from the one who wins the 1500. In swimming, we have 2 CURRENT swimmers who have won the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 at the Olympics and/or world championships (Katie Ledecky and Sun Yang). In track and field there is one man who has EVER won the 200 and 400 in the same Olympics (Michael Johnson) and he certainly didn't do the 800 or 1500 (no sprinter could possibly win a middle distance event). It is literally not humanly possible for one person to be the best over all four of those distances on a track.


Guess what... the swimmer who does the 200 is not usually the swimmer who does the 1500 either... or in the case of the women, the 800 (Ledecky and Yang being extraordinarily rare). It is EXACTLY the same... if you train for sprints, then the distance events are tough... Why do you think it only applies to running in track. You say it is not humanly possible for a track athlete to do all four... then why is swimming a 200, 400, 800 and 1500 supposedly any easier? Katie Ledecky, is, as I said, an extraordinary person to be able to compete in distances from 100 thru 1500 and do it very well... I have never seen that before. Even the great Janet Evans was not able to do that. They are the same distances as the runners have... so what makes running more difficult? Just because no one has chosen to do the 200, 400 and 800 in track does not mean it is impossible or that it will never happen... it only means that no one has done it...nothing more. They are all running events, nothing more. the 200, 400 and 800 are freestyle swimming events, nothing more. The difference is a swimmer has chosen to them all in these Olympics.


When I say that the events are too similar, that's what I mean. The same human body can be the best in all of those events/distances in swimming. In track and field, that's simply not the case and to suggest that it's all down to choice is totally incorrect.

Totally incorrect?
Care to tell me what is involved in the Butterfly in swimming? Perhaps you can tell me about the discipline known as the Breaststroke... Swimming events are so similar? Yes get they are, they are all done in the water. Why can the body NOT be good in something more than just running events? Why can a runner NOT be able to do the Long Jump? Why could they NOT be able to High Jump or Triple Jump? I know of a high school athlete who held the school record in the the 100, & 200, and the low hurdles... he also qualified for the state finals in the Triple Jump and Long Jump, and just missed making it in the 300 high hurdles. Admittedly that was in high school, but still he was an exeptional athlete who took on the challenge of multiple disciplines and did them well. Why is it impossible to think that an Olympic athlete could not do more than one discipline? I think it is ridiculous to think that the rare athlete might not come along and do just that.


You must also understand that track is an impact sport; which limits the amount of training you can do and greatly increases the recovery time between performances. Swimming is a non-impact sport so swimmers can train and compete in far more events. There are also numerous relay events. Michael Phelps gets 3 medals at every Olympics from relays alone. He has more gold medals from relays than any other athlete has in total! There are 2 relays in track and no athlete competes in both of them.

Oh, track is an "impact" sport... well, I could say that swimming is a "drowning" sport. Just as valid as the impact threat.
;)

Do you really want to bring up recovery time? Many of the swimmers had to compete in a different event within minutes of finishing another. Example, Michael Phelps wins gold in the IM and and 38minutes later takes off on the 100 Fly. If you really understood how draining the Butterfly is, you would not make that claim... and.. there was a Butterfly leg in the IM as well. You see, a swimmer has to use both his arms and his legs in a stroke... the arms have to do more than pump and create rythm. As for the relays, yes, there are 3 relays in swimming. and yes, an athelete may compete in each of the three... if they make that team. 4 x 200 free relay, 4 x 100 IM and 3x 100 Free. Why track does not have a 4 x 200 relay I don't know, but why penailze those in swimming who do earn a place on each of the relays.

Yes, Michael Phelps does get medals from 3 relays per Olympics... no argument. So, to be "fair" LOL, let us take 8 of those relay medals away from him... to be "fair". We can just ignore that they represented yet another event, and other than the last relay of the games, more recoveries before the next events. So we will just toss all of that aside. Now... all we have left is 16 Gold medals... only 16 left. 13 of which are Gold. He apparently failed in a few "easy" events with no competition on 3 occasions to only finish second twice and third once.


A final point I'd make is that the talent pool in track and field is exponentially deeper than it is in swimming. There are more than 50 times as many athletes who compete in track and field competitively globally. In fact, you'll never see a competitive swim team come from a place like Jamaica or Kenya because only the wealthier countries can produce high caliber Olympic swimming teams. The top teams are always from USA, Australia, Japan, UK, etc. You need to build Olympic swimming pools and facilities and poor countries just can't afford to do it. They can produce great track teams though as there is almost no economic barrier to entry in that sport.

More than 50 times as many athletes? Perhaps. So what? It is the number of athletes competing in the Olympics that matter. Just having bigger numbers does not guarantee greater competition levels. I fully understand that many countries will not have competitive swimming competition... hence the US has MANY foriegn swimmers competing from those countries. Still, I do understand your point, but my counter to that is that one you get to the Olympics, there are the best of the best (usually), and in swimming, unlike track, only two swimmers from a given country allowed to compete in an individual event and but one team in relays. BTW, Gymnastics also limit the individual events to two from a given country. Track allows more, and to be honest, I do not undertand why and might suggest that it is "unfair" to the other sports. The USA left swimmers home who might well have medaled in the Olympics due to the limit of two to an event. All of that said, I agree with the limit of two athletes per event... feel it should apply to all events.


So yeah, Phelps is great and I'm actually a big fan but let's not try to compare him to athletes from other sports simply by counting medals. Swimming gives away medals like they're going out of style. There are totally valid arguments in his favor; such as his longevity and the huge gap between his achievements and those of his peers.

Ok..let us toss out the Medals. We best do that for track as well as they give out medals "like they are going out of style" as well, something that keeps getting overlooked. Shall we use World Records and Olympic Records? Not counting Relay records, Phelps has broken 5 World Records and 4 Olympic records in individual events... two WR in 400 Individual Medley, which encompasses all 4 stroke disciplines. and yes, as you note, it has been 16 years since Phelps first Olympics and yet, at the age of 31 he won two individual gold and a silver this year to go with the relay wins. I like this year's Phelps more than any previous version. It seems as though his rough period has finally forced him to grow up. This year he has been a Leader, and has shown a much greater maturity.

Lastly, I have yet to hear Phelps refer to himself as the "Legend"... he does't need to... but then, neither does Usain.

Blake, I don't want to argue with you about the Phelps thing too much but you simply do not understand the reality of what it takes to win in the different track and field events if you want to make the argument that it is in any way similar to swimming. In swimming it's relatively common for a swimmer to be world class at 200 meters all the way up to 1500. Ledecky and Sun Yang are just current examples. Off the top of my head; Ian Thorpe won gold in all of those events too.

When I say it's not possible for a track athlete to do that, I'm not speaking figuratively; I'm speaking literally. It is actually not possible to train the fast twitch muscles and develop the anaerobic energy systems to the extent necessary to win an Olympic 200 meter sprint while simultaneously having the aerobic efficiency necessary to win the Olympic 1500 meters.

The depth of the talent pool in Track and field also makes it extremely difficult to do any two events at a world class level unless they draw on relatively similar strengths (like the 100 and the 200). Track and field is full of athletes who's bodies are molded to the specifications required for their event. No jack of all trades athlete could even make it to a final in any of those events. Katie Ledecky actually competed in a relay at the 100 meter distance as well; which means she medaled at 100, 200, 400 and 800 in the Olympics! If you know the slightest bit about track you know that it's not humanly possible for one athlete to do that on a track.

I never said anything about the strokes actually but since you bring it up, it is totally common for freestyle swimmers to be strong in the butterfly and backstroke. The breaststroke is its own thing but the bottom line is that swimming has the lowest bar for earning a medal of all of the olympic sports. I'll do a more thorough analysis once the olympics are over but it's pretty obvious that an inordinate amount of swimmers walk away with several medals from the olympic games. Pretty much any permutation of distance/stroke has a medal associated with it. Michael Phelps is actually not even the fastest swimmer! The fastest swimemrs are the 50 and 100 meter sprinters in the freestyle events. He is the best all around swimmer without question but I'm sick of the way Phelps fans try to aggressively pit him against athletes from other sports and use the ridiculous number of medals he's won as their argument.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:37 am 
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sandman1347 wrote:
That was amazing to see Van Niekerk break Michael Johnson's record in the 400! 8O


Run was incredible. For comparison, Kirani James in second, ran the 9th fastest 400m of all time, and was 3/4 of a second down on him.
Also for comparison, Kirani James won gold in London in 43.94, a time which just about scrapes 4th in Rio. Matt Hudson-Smith's time of 44.61 in last place won you silver in Beijing in 2008. Lashawn Merritt won that race in 43.75, by a full second from Jeremy Wariner.

Only four men have run with half a second of his time ever. 3 of those were world record holders.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:53 am 
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SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
Blake wrote:
SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
Bolt wins 100m for a third time. Absolute legend.

I especially love that, given Bolt's start, Gatlin must've thought he was going to win. :twisted:


By the way, I won't be at all surprised if the 400m winner is in the news a few days from now..... It seemed like he was not getting tired at all. It seemed like he was running faster at 350m than he was at 100m. I hope he's legit, though. It was amazing to watch.


On that subject...

Actually, I am glad that Gatlin did not win... Given his history with bans, it would have been as shame to see him beat Bolt.


Yeah, though IMO it's a shame that he is still allowed to compete. Should have been banned for life.

No that's way too harsh. The first positive test was for Ritalin while he was in college and the NCAA actually determined that he had a valid prescription and did not take it to enhance performance. The second one was weird. It was for steroids but it wasn't at a major meet. It was just some no-name meet out in the middle of nowhere.

Anyway, he served a 4 year suspension during the prime of his career and missed the 2008 Olympics. I think that's punishment enough. I have been impressed by Gatlin in recent years. To win silver at 34 years of age in the 100 meters is an amazing fete. He's the oldest medalist in the history of the event.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:34 am 
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sandman1347 wrote:
Blake, I don't want to argue with you about the Phelps thing too much but you simply do not understand the reality of what it takes to win in the different track and field events if you want to make the argument that it is in any way similar to swimming.

You don't want to argue the Phelps thing too much??? Instead you just want to tell me that I don't know fairy cakes about track and field. Fine, sandman... didn't realize that I was up against an expert in both track and in swimming as you seem to be proclaiming yourself. You have made a thread of putting down swimming, sandman, so what is your expertise that allows you to know so much and know that I do not? To suggest repeatedly that I do not understand the "reality".

In swimming it's relatively common for a swimmer to be world class at 200 meters all the way up to 1500. Ledecky and Sun Yang are just current examples. Off the top of my head; Ian Thorpe won gold in all of those events too. When I say it's not possible for a track athlete to do that, I'm not speaking figuratively; I'm speaking literally. It is actually not possible to train the fast twitch muscles and develop the anaerobic energy systems to the extent necessary to win an Olympic 200 meter sprint while simultaneously having the aerobic efficiency necessary to win the Olympic 1500 meters

Yup, that is common... Thorpe, Yang and Ledecky. They have to prepare for each of those distances. Of course, apparently "fast twitch muscles and anaerobic energy" apply only to track events. I guess I should have known that. Damn, I bet my swimmers wish I had understood that when I was putting together all the aerorbic & anaerorbic training that I put them through. Yes, swimmers know about that kind of stuff too, believe it or not. Many of my swim team probably wish that we didn't, then it could have been as easy as you seem to think it is.
;)


The depth of the talent pool in Track and field also makes it extremely difficult to do any two events at a world class level unless they draw on relatively similar strengths (like the 100 and the 200). Track and field is full of athletes who's bodies are molded to the specifications required for their event. No jack of all trades athlete could even make it to a final in any of those events. Katie Ledecky actually competed in a relay at the 100 meter distance as well; which means she medaled at 100, 200, 400 and 800 in the Olympics! If you know the slightest bit about track you know that it's not humanly possible for one athlete to do that on a track.

Well, we have already established that you don't think I know a damn thing about track, haven't we sandman. Yes, let us not credit the near unbelievable accomplishment of Katie Ledecky with medals in the 200, 400 & 800 as well as a 100 leg in the relay, instead, pass it off as "easy" because it is just swimming. So it is the talent pool that makes it hard for the track athlete to compete in more than two events today? Back to the old they must be better drivers today because of the so-called talent pool line, I see. Pray tell, why can Usain Bolt not run a 200? I'd really like to know...and please don't give me the fast twitch muscles bit. I believe it has been done before, so why not now? Perhaps it is because the athlete prefers to specialize, and that is fine, but again it is their choice... not because it cannot be done.


Inever said anything about the strokes actually but since you bring it up, it is totally common for freestyle swimmers to be strong in the butterfly and backstroke. The breaststroke is its own thing but the bottom line is that swimming has the lowest bar for earning a medal of all of the olympic sports. I'll do a more thorough analysis once the olympics are over but it's pretty obvious that an inordinate amount of swimmers walk away with several medals from the olympic games. Pretty much any permutation of distance/stroke has a medal associated with it. Michael Phelps is actually not even the fastest swimmer! The fastest swimemrs are the 50 and 100 meter sprinters in the freestyle events. He is the best all around swimmer without question but I'm sick of the way Phelps fans try to aggressively pit him against athletes from other sports and use the ridiculous number of medals he's won as their argument.

\What makes you such a expert, sandman??? The easiest sport to medal in? You make the claim as though it is a fact... and you dare to say that I don't see the "reality"??? Bullroar. I'd love to know what makes you think you are such an expert.

You have made many claims that suggest that you think you are quite knowledgeable as well as repeated suggestings that I do not know anything about track. So, what are your qualifications? Are you a track coach? What do you know about swimming to make you such an expert? Are you a swimming coach? Your "bottom line" is nothing more than your own opinion and one that I have not seen put forth by anybody who knows anything about swimming...so what makes you so much more knowledgeable?

Now you choose to criticise Phelps because he is not the fastest swimmer... Who gives a didly damn? What does being the 50 Freestyle champion have to do with his swimming greatness? Is there some kind of new rule that says you have to be the shortest over a short distance in the fastest stroke in order to be considered great? Do you really want to talk about who is lackign in "reality"? You do realize that there is only one swimming discipline that is raced at the short distance of 50m in the Olympics, freestyle... all the others are at 100 and 200. Personally, I put a lot more credence in the Individual Medley events than I do the 50 Free...always have. I coached my teams to earn the right to compete in the IM, knowing if they could do that, they then could excel in their choice of the individual strokes as well. It became a matter of pride for them to be able to do the IMs, a goal they strived for. The 50 freestyle was the first thing that a young swimmer could do, much as a short running sprint is the first thing kids usually learn as well.

Lastly... about this...


Quote:
but I'm sick of the way Phelps fans try to aggressively pit him against athletes from other sports and use the ridiculous number of medals he's won as their argument.


Well, then we are even, as I am "sick" of the way that some Bolt fans try to aggressively put him against athletes from swimming and claim that their medals don't matter because they are just swimming medals. The bottom line is, sandman... that Michael Phelps has won more individual Gold medals than any Olympic Athlete in history, he has won more total medals than any athlete in history, he has held World Records in three different individual events (and multiple distances in eash), and that the number of Swimming events is roughly similar to the number of Athlete medals in the Olympics. That, sandman is the "REALITY" of the story. Bolt is great, but he chooses to limit the number of events that he competes in... his choice. Don't hold it against the swimmers that some of them choose to do more.


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Last edited by Blake on Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:47 am 
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Blake wrote:
sandman1347 wrote:
Blake, I don't want to argue with you about the Phelps thing too much but you simply do not understand the reality of what it takes to win in the different track and field events if you want to make the argument that it is in any way similar to swimming.

You don't want to argue the Phelps thing too much??? Instead you just want to tell me that I don't know fairy cakes about track and field. Fine, sandman... didn't realize that I was up against an expert in both track and in swimming as you seem to be proclaiming yourself. You have made a thread of putting down swimming, sandman, so what is your expertise that allows you to know so much and know that I do not? To suggest repeatedly that I do not understand the "reality".

In swimming it's relatively common for a swimmer to be world class at 200 meters all the way up to 1500. Ledecky and Sun Yang are just current examples. Off the top of my head; Ian Thorpe won gold in all of those events too. When I say it's not possible for a track athlete to do that, I'm not speaking figuratively; I'm speaking literally. It is actually not possible to train the fast twitch muscles and develop the anaerobic energy systems to the extent necessary to win an Olympic 200 meter sprint while simultaneously having the aerobic efficiency necessary to win the Olympic 1500 meters

Yup, that is common... Thorpe, Yang and Ledecky. They have to prepare for each of those distances. Of course, apparently "fast twitch muscles and anaerobic energy" apply only to track events. I guess I should have known that. Damn, I bet my swimmers wish I had understood that when I was putting together all the aerorbic & anaerorbic training that I put them through. Yes, swimmers know about that kind of stuff too, believe it or not. Many of my swim team probably wish that we didn't, then it could have been as easy as you seem to think it is.
;)


The depth of the talent pool in Track and field also makes it extremely difficult to do any two events at a world class level unless they draw on relatively similar strengths (like the 100 and the 200). Track and field is full of athletes who's bodies are molded to the specifications required for their event. No jack of all trades athlete could even make it to a final in any of those events. Katie Ledecky actually competed in a relay at the 100 meter distance as well; which means she medaled at 100, 200, 400 and 800 in the Olympics! If you know the slightest bit about track you know that it's not humanly possible for one athlete to do that on a track.

Well, we have already established that you don't think I know a damn thing about track, haven't we sandman. Yes, let us not credit the near unbelievable accomplishment of Katie Ledecky with medals in the 200, 400 & 800 as well as a 100 leg in the relay, instead, pass it off as "easy" because it is just swimming. So it is the talent pool that makes it hard for the track athlete to compete in more than two events today? Back to the old they must be better drivers today because of the so-called talent pool line, I see. Pray tell, why can Usain Bolt not run a 200? I'd really like to know...and please don't give me the fast twitch muscles bit. I believe it has been done before, so why not now? Perhaps it is because the athlete prefers to specialize, and that is fine, but again it is their choice... not because it cannot be done.


Inever said anything about the strokes actually but since you bring it up, it is totally common for freestyle swimmers to be strong in the butterfly and backstroke. The breaststroke is its own thing but the bottom line is that swimming has the lowest bar for earning a medal of all of the olympic sports. I'll do a more thorough analysis once the olympics are over but it's pretty obvious that an inordinate amount of swimmers walk away with several medals from the olympic games. Pretty much any permutation of distance/stroke has a medal associated with it. Michael Phelps is actually not even the fastest swimmer! The fastest swimemrs are the 50 and 100 meter sprinters in the freestyle events. He is the best all around swimmer without question but I'm sick of the way Phelps fans try to aggressively pit him against athletes from other sports and use the ridiculous number of medals he's won as their argument.


\What makes you such a expert, sandman? You have made many claims that suggest that you think you are quite knowledgeable as well as repeated suggestings that I do not know anything about track. So, what are your qualifications? What do you know about swimming to make you such an expert? your "bottom line" is nothing more than your own opinion and one that I have not seen put forth by anybody who knows anything about swimming...so what makes you so much more knowledgeable?

Now you choose to criticise Phelps because he is not the fastest swimmer... Who gives a didly damn? What does being the 50 Freestyle champion have to do with his swimming greatness? Is there some kind of new rule that says you have to be the shortest over a short distance in the fastest stroke in order to be considered great? Do you really want to talk about who is lackign in "reality"? Personally, I put a lot more credence in the Individual Medley events than I do the 50 Free...always have. Coached my teams to earn the right to compete in the IM, knowing if they could do that, they then could excel in their choice of the individual strokes as well. It became a matter of pride for them to be able to do the IMs.

Lastly... about this...


Quote:
but I'm sick of the way Phelps fans try to aggressively pit him against athletes from other sports and use the ridiculous number of medals he's won as their argument.


Well, then we are even, as I am "sick" of the way that some Bolt fans try to aggressively put him against athletes from swimming and claim that their medals don't matter because they are just swimming medals. The bottom line is, sandman... that Michael Phelps has won more individual Gold medals than any Olympic Athlete in history, he has won more total medals than any athlete in history, he has held World Records in three different individual events (and multiple distances in eash), and that the number of Swimming events is roughly similar to the number of Athlete medals in the Olympics. That, sandman is the "REALITY" of the story. Bolt is great, but he chooses to limit the number of events that he competes in... his choice. Don't hold it against the swimmers that some of them choose to do more.


Your arguments here are irrational and emotional. It's a waste of time to get into it with you when you're like this.

Why hasn't Bolt won the 200 you ask? He actually HAS won the 200. In fact he's won it at the last two Olympic games and has swept the world championships for the last 8 years too. That's why he's considered the greatest sprinter of all time. He has world records in both the 100 and the 200 and is attempting to win both events 3 times in a row at the Olympics (a totally unprecedented fete).

No matter how many times I say that I respect Phelps and the sport of swimming, you insist on trying to paint me as someone who wants to put the sport down or suggest that it's "easy" to win in swimming. I don't believe that for a second and I have the utmost respect for the sport. The one and only point I was making is that the amount of medals a swimmer wins is only a valid metric when comparing them to other swimmers. When you try to make comparisons across sports, the medal count is irrelevant because athletes in the other sports cannot win as many medals.

Also, Usain Bolt's fans do not pit him against swimmers. It's the Phelps people who seem to insist on this "greatest Olympian" thing. The fact that you didn't even know that Usain Bolt runs the 200 is telling of your knowledge of the sport at the international level. You continue to push this "CHOOSE" thing and it makes you seem completely ignorant to be honest. If Usain bolt chose to run the 800 or 1500, he would be choosing not to even make it to the Olympics because TRACK AND FIELD IS NOT LIKE SWIMMING AT ALL!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:08 am 
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Whatever, sandman...

when I am like this? pray tell, what is your expertise, I have asked you before and though you put me down repeatedly, you fail to tell us how it is that you are such an expert.

Yes, I did forget that Bolt had competed in the 200, and more power to him for having done so. My bad. However, it only moderately changes my point.. It is great that he as been able to do 3 different distances, and it is great that a Ledecky has competed in 4 different distances of freestyle (100, 200, 400, 800... and btw, she is the world record holder in the 1500) ... which, is the only stroke she competes in... by choice. It was a shock to many that she was so competitive in the 200 and the 100 in the relay), but she chose to try and she succeeded. That does not make it easy, it means that she put the work into all of the disciplines to succeed... by choice. BTW, Phelps winning the 200IM this year is his FOURTH straight Gold in that event, (a totally unprecedente feat). He did miss out on winning a fourth straight 100 Butterfly however, finishing in a tie for 2nd.

You indeed did say that the
Quote:
"bottom line is that swimming has the lowest bar for earning a medal of all of the olympic sports"
. How is that shows the "utmost respect for the sport? Seriouisly??? That shows Little respect, sandman, no matter how you try to spin it.

And yes, Bolt fans have pitted his accomplishments against Phelps, and you damn well know it. You can try to spin all of this as my being irrational and emotional, and I admit that I get a bit "pi$$ed" when swimmers are shown so little respect and when their accomplishments are basically dismissed as "the lowest bar for earning a medal". And yes, I might get "emotional" when you repeatedly suggest that I lack "reality"... as for irrational, you just think what you wish... it is far easier than answering my questions to you.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:08 am 
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sandman1347 wrote:
SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
Blake wrote:
SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
Bolt wins 100m for a third time. Absolute legend.

I especially love that, given Bolt's start, Gatlin must've thought he was going to win. :twisted:


By the way, I won't be at all surprised if the 400m winner is in the news a few days from now..... It seemed like he was not getting tired at all. It seemed like he was running faster at 350m than he was at 100m. I hope he's legit, though. It was amazing to watch.


On that subject...

Actually, I am glad that Gatlin did not win... Given his history with bans, it would have been as shame to see him beat Bolt.


Yeah, though IMO it's a shame that he is still allowed to compete. Should have been banned for life.

No that's way too harsh. The first positive test was for Ritalin while he was in college and the NCAA actually determined that he had a valid prescription and did not take it to enhance performance. The second one was weird. It was for steroids but it wasn't at a major meet. It was just some no-name meet out in the middle of nowhere.

Anyway, he served a 4 year suspension during the prime of his career and missed the 2008 Olympics. I think that's punishment enough. I have been impressed by Gatlin in recent years. To win silver at 34 years of age in the 100 meters is an amazing fete. He's the oldest medalist in the history of the event.


Does that matter?. A drugs cheat is a drugs cheat really, whether done once for a small meet or religiously through a state sponsored programme.

It makes me question the validity of all the tests he passed before that rather than think he just decided to cheat to win a small meet to be honest.

And it stains all of his "accomplishments" for me unfortunately even if he's completely clean now as the groundwork was done with the help of PED's and him being there just sends out the wrong message.

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