“I thrive on pressure situations. They only up my game.” (hear it)
It was close, but Michael Phelps won his record 8th gold medal surpassing Mark Spitz’s 36-year-old Olympic record. The American Mens 4 x 100 meter medley relay team pulled out the victory that made Michael Phelps the undisputed Olympic champion of champions.
For the second time in these Olympics, Jason Lezak anchored the team and brought home the gold. This time holding off a surging Team Australia.
The Americans won in world record time of 3:29.84.
A clearly fatigued Phelps was humble in describing this accomplishment, but his teammate Brendan Hansen was not shy in declaring Phelps’ accomplishment the greatest in sports. Hansen said, “What the man to my right accomplished is the biggest thing in sports general. It’s bigger than the Tour de France. It’s bigger than a pressure putt at the U.S. Open.”
Five-time Olympic gold medalist Aaron Piersol said, “My hat’s off this guy for this accomplishment.”
Phelps told NBC’s Bob Costas, “I’m at a loss for words. This was everything that I wanted to do and everything I dreamed of. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Costas asked, “You’re a bit like Michael Jordan in this respect. Jordan would extract motivation from any situation. He would even somehow perceive a slight from an intended compliment. So whether it’s (Ian) Thorpe, or it’s (Milorad) Cavic, or Alain Bernard. If it’s something real or imagined that can get under your skin you use it?
Phelps replied, “Oh yeah. I said yesterday I welcome any comments. All they do is fire me up. I love when people say that somebody can’t do something. You want to go out there and prove it that much more.”
Tonight Phelps proved it for now and all time. He finishes this Olympics with 8 gold medals, seven world records, and one Olympic record. He set a goal four years ago to come and dominate these games. He worked towards that goal for four years. Tonight it all came true.
He is an inspiration to us all.
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3 thoughts on “Michael Phelps’ 8th Gold Medal Breaks Spitz Olympic Record – The Affirmation Spot”
Michael Phelps is, without a doubt, the face of his sport just like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali, Brett Favre, Roger Federer and Babe Ruth. However, for all that he accomplished in this years Olympic games, I still don’t think he ranks in the top 5 of all-time Olympians.
Here is my TOP 5 All-Time Olympians:
Correction: I said MY top 5 All Time Olympians. I should have said HIS (the L.A. Times writers Philip Hersh’s) top 5. My bad.
Thanks for taking some time to comment on the blog.
I cannot disagree with you or the L.A. Times writer. I just don’t think we can discount Phelps’ accomplishment. The reason two of his three teammates were different in his two relays is that most swimmers cannot master these various events at a world class level.
Carl Lewis was a great Olympian and I cannot argue with his longevity and ability to win the long jump in four Olympics – even after his competitive sprinting days were over.
That said, I think if Phelps’ feat was not difficult, others would have done it. Others may try now.
I think what he did is analogous to seeing a gymnast win every event in the the all-around. That never happens.
Whether he is one of the five all-time greats or not is up for debate. His accomplishment, though, is certainly unparalleled.