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Phelps: Greatest Olympian or just Greatest Swimmer?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by DanOregon, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    What Phelps has done is phenomenal, not just this year, but for Athens as well. He is a beast.
    Though it's not like swimmers (and runners) haven't been known to pile up medals between the different events and the relays. It's a sport that magnifies your dominance exponentially.
    There are Olympians that have won medals over three decades in sports that only offer up one or two events that have been just as dominant as Phelps.
  2. Dickens Cider

    Dickens Cider New Member

    He has been more dominant in his sport than any other Olympian, but if you put a gun to my head I'd still say it was Carl Lewis.
  3. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I'd love to hear why you don't think he's the greatest swimmer of all time so that I can embarrass your argument.
  4. Flash

    Flash Guest

  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    From The Daily Mail a few years back.


    JESSE OWENS (1913-1980)
    Jesse Owens's Olympic success is one of the great sporting stories of triumph over adversity. Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 - a remarkable achievement in itself, but even more so when you consider that the black athlete achieved his victories in the swastiker-clad heart of Nazi Germany.

    Hitler had hoped the games would provide tangible proof of the Nazi's racial supremacy. He couldn't have been more wrong. Owens equalled the Olympic record in the 100m, had the three best jumps in the long jump, and the 4x100m relay team - of which Owens was the anchor man - set a world-record which was to last for 20 years. It was Owens 4, Hitler 0.

    Hitler's humiliation was compounded as the Berlin people took Owens to their hearts. Owens's achievements may not have been enough to turn the German public against the Fuhrer, but to this day there is a street named after him in the city.


    Steve Redgrave is the man that just kept rowing. He is the only Olympian to have won a gold medal at five consecutive games, starting with victory in the coxed fours in Los Angeles in 1984 and culminating with that memorable race in Sydney in 2000.

    That final victory in the coxless fours in Australia was made all the more remarkable as Redgrave had spent the past couple of years battling with the effects of diabetes. Yet, at the age of 38, he defied the physical limitations placed on his body to set a landmark achievement that will likely never be surpassed.

    Redgrave's achievements are inseparable from those of his long-term partner Matthew Pinsent - who lives in Regdrave's shadow, despite boasting gold medals from the last three games himself. Redgrave was knighted in 2001's new year's honours list.

    Five golds spanning 20 years sounds pretty legit to me.

    Phelps might be greater, but these two are in the conversation.
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I have no question he's the greatest swimmer.
    I'd have to research about the Olympian. The point above about medal numbers is valid.
    Who's that little weightlifter who won over a number of different Olympiads?
  7. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Imagine Teófilo Stevenson fighting as a heavyweight in the 1970s against Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Norton?
  8. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    No award for his teeth?
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You could be a 10 times better wrestler, boxer, weightlifer, etc. than anyone else and you're still only going to win one gold medal.
  10. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    What about the Russian pole vaulter?
    Sergei Bubka.
    That guy has to be on the short list for best Olympian ever.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    If not for a kid named Rulon, Alexander Karelin would be in this conversation as well.
  12. derwood

    derwood Active Member

    Only won one gold (1988). Boycott and injuries really hurt him.
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