Wednesday, August 13, 2008
While it’s difficult for me to really gauge just how much Michael Phelps really is the new Ian Thorpe because I’m inside America and am only getting the American version of things, there’s really no denying that he’s astonishingly talented and possibly one of the greatest athletes ever invented. So far he’s won 5 gold medals (one of which with his goggles full of water) and set 5 world records and he’s not done yet. He is hands down amazing.
The biggest mistake that Phelps could make at this point is if he starts to believe he’s a god and also that he’s capable of anything at all – like a singing career, an acting career or something other than swimming, low key business, motivational speaking (and that’s not confirmed yet – he might be totally uncharismatic) or sports commentating which doesn’t require charisma anyway.
The trouble is, America has already made him a god and when he touches down on American soil he’ll be bigger than Xenu. Paris Hilton will thrust her groin at him full throttle, every breakfast cereal hawker will clamor for his remarkably weird face to be printed on their boxes.
The interesting thing about sport and the Olympic Games especially is that the kind of fame it creates is on of the only brands of notoriety that really does translate on a general national scale. It’ll be really interesting to see how he does with this level of immediate, undeniable and nationally resonant fame. I for one, hope he doesn’t become a douche bag mogul or appear in a film. That would be unpleasant. [source]