As someone who doesn’t watch a lot of network news, but does catch earfuls while in transit from one location to another, here’s a recreation of what I’ve been hearing for the last five days: “PHELPS PHELPS PHELPS war in Georgia PHELPS PHELPS Edwards’s mistress PHELPS PHELPS PHELPSPHELPSHPHELPS.”
And now, after performing spectacularly in one race after another, including the stunning 4×100 relay and the 200-meter butterfly, Phelps can now claim the title of history’s greatest Olympian — so we have put together a special, mid-week Vid Picks dedicated to him. Some of the videos feature him in a swimsuit. In case you care about that sort of thing.
What’s remarkable is how well the athlete is holding up under the pressure and scrutiny — while not perhaps the most personable in front of a camera, his training has definitely included prepping for public appearances. In this brief clip from a pre-games press conference, Phelps discusses his recent experimentation with facial hair, as well as post-Athens mistakes.
Conducted prior to Beijing, the AP’s slightly longer interview with Phelps gives a good sense of the athlete in a more relaxed setting, speaking candidly about his ambition to surpass Mark Spitz’s 36-year-old record of seven gold medals at one Olympics.
And he totally did it — witness the 30 seconds Morgan Freeman spends comparing him to a fish (even if it is for a Visa commercial).
And course, a celebration of athleticism is never truly complete unless the band Survivor is involved. So here is a photo montage of Phelps set to the greatest training song of all time.
Congratulations, Michael Phelps. Looking forward to London 2012!