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AJDawg
August 12th, 2012, 09:52 PM
Listening to the Olympic commentators makes me cringe sometimes. Some of these cretins are convinced Usain Bolt is a greater Olympian than Phelps.

No Way----NO FRIGGIN' WAY!!!!

=> Michael has won more total golds and total medals over a longer period of time He Owned the pool in Beijing. Bolt dominated two individual and one relay over two Olympiads.
=> Michael's career has lasted much longer than Bolt's.
=> Michael probably has the aerobic capacity of 3 Bolts put together.
=> Bolt is all fast-twitch fibers - honed to perfection for sure but I'd love to see him try to run a 400 or 800m.Michael is fast and slow twitch fibers.

geochuck
August 12th, 2012, 10:44 PM
They are both great.


Listening to the Olympic commentators makes me cringe sometimes. Some of these cretins are convinced Usain Bolt is a greater Olympian than Phelps.

No Way----NO FRIGGIN' WAY!!!!

=> Michael has won more total golds and total medals over a longer period of time He Owned the pool in Beijing. Bolt dominated two individual and one relay over two Olympiads.
=> Michael's career has lasted much longer than Bolt's.
=> Michael probably has the aerobic capacity of 3 Bolts put together.
=> Bolt is all fast-twitch fibers - honed to perfection for sure but I'd love to see him try to run a 400 or 800m.Michael is fast and slow twitch fibers.

__steve__
August 13th, 2012, 12:16 PM
There must exist some type of quantitative Olympian greatness calculator, like ugh - medals or something?

fmracing
August 13th, 2012, 12:29 PM
There must exist some type of quantitative Olympian greatness calculator, like ugh - medals or something?


Maybe they could put it to the test on the most scientifically accepted and accurate form of conjecture ever invented... an anonymous web poll. lol. :)

__steve__
August 13th, 2012, 02:57 PM
Some of these cretins are convinced Usain Bolt is a greater Olympian than Phelps.
Media hullabaloo = $

smontanaro
August 13th, 2012, 03:10 PM
OTOH, I thought it was great that Ado Bolton gave the nod to David Rudisha's 800m world record as the highlight event of the track session, not to any of Usain Bolt's runs. I think most people expected Bolt to win his events (despite all the "can he hold off Yohan Blake?" hype by NBC), whereas Rudish's WR came pretty much out of the blue.

Allen Stark
August 13th, 2012, 03:39 PM
Not to :worms: but I think there is a better chance that Ye is clean than Bolt:bolt:.

Kevinj
August 13th, 2012, 04:37 PM
Not to :worms: but I think there is a better chance that Ye is clean than Bolt:bolt:.

I know. I looked at the WR progression for the 100 meter dash and in the past 25 years or so its been staggering.

1936 - Jessie Owens - 10.2
1988 - Carl Lewis - 9.92, 52 years later and only ~.28 faster.
2009 - Usain Bolt - 9.58, 21 years later and .34 seconds faster.

smontanaro
August 13th, 2012, 04:54 PM
I don't think that's necessarily a smoking gun. Carl Lewis's physique is probably more like Jesse Owens's than it is like Usain Bolt's. Bolt clearly gives up something at the start. Compared to shorter runners his start is more-or-less abysmal, but he (obviously) more than makes up for it on the back end where his height (longer legs) come into play. There's probably more than that to his success (part physiological, perhaps part pharmacological), but given his success over the past four years, I suspect nobody has been drug tested more than he has (perhaps Phelps or Lochte).

ALM
August 13th, 2012, 09:58 PM
There must exist some type of quantitative Olympian greatness calculator, like ugh - medals or something?

The Sports-Reference web site (http://http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/) is awesome for all sorts of Olympics statistics, as well as profiles and results of every Olympian.

Right now on their front page they have a list of the all-time top medal winners:

Top Medal Winners — Athletes
Athlete.................Country, Sport, Total
---------------------------------------
Michael Phelps (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ph/michael-phelps-1.html)............ USA, SWI, 22
Larysa Latynina (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/la/larysa-latynina-1.html).......... URS, GYM, 18
Nikolay Andrianov (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/an/nikolay-andrianov-1.html)....... URS, GYM, 15
Borys Shakhlin (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/sh/borys-shakhlin-1.html)........... URS, GYM, 13
Edoardo Mangiarotti (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ma/edoardo-mangiarotti-1.html).... ITA, FEN, 13
Takashi Ono (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/on/takashi-ono-1.html).............. JPN, GYM, 13
Paavo Nurmi (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/nu/paavo-nurmi-1.html).............. FIN, ATH, 12
Bjørn Dæhlie (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/da/bjorn-daehlie-1.html).............. NOR, CCS, 12
Birgit Fischer-Schmidt (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/fi/birgit-fischer-schmidt-1.html).. GDR/GER, CAN, 12
Sawao Kato (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ka/sawao-kato-1.html)............... JPN, GYM, 12
Jenny Thompson (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/th/jenny-thompson-1.html)......... USA, SWI, 12
Dara Torres (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/to/dara-torres-1.html)............... USA, SWI, 12
Aleksey Nemov (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ne/aleksey-nemov-1.html)........... RUS, GYM, 12
Natalie Coughlin (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/co/natalie-coughlin-1.html).......... USA, SWI, 12

Click on any of the above names to see a plethora of statistics about that athlete...

rxleakem
August 14th, 2012, 03:24 AM
Right now on their front page they have a list of the all-time top medal winners:

Top Medal Winners — Athletes
Athlete.................Country, Sport, Total
---------------------------------------
Michael Phelps (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ph/michael-phelps-1.html)............ USA, SWI, 22
Larysa Latynina (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/la/larysa-latynina-1.html).......... URS, GYM, 18
Nikolay Andrianov (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/an/nikolay-andrianov-1.html)....... URS, GYM, 15
Borys Shakhlin (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/sh/borys-shakhlin-1.html)........... URS, GYM, 13
Edoardo Mangiarotti (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ma/edoardo-mangiarotti-1.html).... ITA, FEN, 13
Takashi Ono (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/on/takashi-ono-1.html).............. JPN, GYM, 13
Paavo Nurmi (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/nu/paavo-nurmi-1.html).............. FIN, ATH, 12
Bjørn Dæhlie (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/da/bjorn-daehlie-1.html).............. NOR, CCS, 12
Birgit Fischer-Schmidt (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/fi/birgit-fischer-schmidt-1.html).. GDR/GER, CAN, 12
Sawao Kato (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ka/sawao-kato-1.html)............... JPN, GYM, 12
Jenny Thompson (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/th/jenny-thompson-1.html)......... USA, SWI, 12
Dara Torres (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/to/dara-torres-1.html)............... USA, SWI, 12
Aleksey Nemov (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ne/aleksey-nemov-1.html)........... RUS, GYM, 12
Natalie Coughlin (http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/co/natalie-coughlin-1.html).......... USA, SWI, 12

What I find interesting about this list is that only one athlete mentioned competed in the winter Olympics.

That Guy
August 14th, 2012, 01:24 PM
Michael Wilbon says it's a tie.

http://espn.go.com/olympics/summer/2012/story/_/id/8264471/2012-olympics-usain-bolt-michael-phelps-share-olympic-mountaintop

wwoelbel
August 14th, 2012, 02:05 PM
What I find interesting about this list is that only one athlete mentioned competed in the winter Olympics.

How many different Luge events are there?

tjrpatt
August 14th, 2012, 02:09 PM
Michael Wilbon says it's a tie.

http://espn.go.com/olympics/summer/2012/story/_/id/8264471/2012-olympics-usain-bolt-michael-phelps-share-olympic-mountaintop

Bruce Jenner Kardashian(aka Olympic Gold medal Decathlete) said that Bolt is delusional and so is Wilbon. Bolt just does the sprints. Heck, Carl Lewis did the sprints and the long jump. Phelps is on the mountaintop alone.

GregJS
August 14th, 2012, 02:51 PM
Maybe medals are not the ultimate measure because in a lot of sports, you can only win one medal per Olympics (although isn't anyone free to train for and compete in as many different events as they feel up to? This is essentially what Phelps did. Just because they were all swimming events doesn't make it easy.)

Bolt is impressive for sure - an epic hero of a runner. But for me, Phelps was the Presiding Deity of the 2008 and 2012 Olympics - a completely unique and astounding phenomenon. Although it should probably be noted that His Phelpsness is not a singular, but a triune phenomenon: The Mother, The Son, and The Holy Coach!!!:angel:

Viva O Fear
August 14th, 2012, 04:04 PM
In 20 years, few will recall Bolt. Michael Phelps will always be known. I like Bolt, but poor comparison in accomplishments.

arthur
August 14th, 2012, 04:37 PM
I know. I looked at the WR progression for the 100 meter dash and in the past 25 years or so its been staggering.

1936 - Jessie Owens - 10.2
1988 - Carl Lewis - 9.92, 52 years later and only ~.28 faster.
2009 - Usain Bolt - 9.58, 21 years later and .34 seconds faster.
The athletics US women's 4x100 world record might be the most suspicious based on % under the old world record. They broke a 27 year old world record in a 40 second race by 0.55 seconds. The old record was questionable itself as it set by East Germany in 1985.

art_z
August 15th, 2012, 01:42 PM
have the both swim a 100 and run a 100. Man with the lowest combined time wins.

SolarEnergy
August 15th, 2012, 02:58 PM
Really hard to compare this two, any comparison has to be based on subjective criteria, since the medal count doesn't mean much.

One thing is sure in my mind though, it's very hard to commit to a swim training program.

Terry Laughlin has recently created a great blog entry, which could help some of us better understanding what your typical super star swimmer must go through.

http://www.swimwellblog.com/archives/1704/

So whilst it may be that Bolt, objectively speaking (if this is even possible) be a greater athlete than Phelps, I can't help thinking that the latter went through very very difficult times in order to achieve what he did.

GregJS
August 15th, 2012, 06:04 PM
Just read the blog post mentioned above on Terry Laughlin's Total Immersion site. Very interesting summary of Phelps' career. Thanks for that SolarEnergy.

He set his first world record at 15?! And then set 10 more just during the next 2 years?!

Wow.

Bold Talkin' Bolt can proclaim himself as legendary as he likes, but again, I am much more blown away by The Phelps Phenomenon.

sickfish
August 16th, 2012, 08:31 AM
There's some psychology happening here: people tend to forget the impact of earlier events in favor of What Just Happened. Phelps and Bolt both did awesome things, but Bolt did his a few days after Phelps had already retired. Switch the order, do the "athletics" before the swimming, and no one would even dream of making this comparison. Bolt would have been forgotten after the 200IM.

knelson
August 16th, 2012, 10:51 AM
I think where Bolt has the edge over Phelps right now is he's never shown a chink in his armor. He's been absolutely perfect at the Olympics. Of course he's also only raced six finals at the Olympics whereas Phelps has raced in something like 24 finals.

tjrpatt
August 16th, 2012, 11:20 AM
I think where Bolt has the edge over Phelps right now is he's never shown a chink in his armor. He's been absolutely perfect at the Olympics. Of course he's also only raced six finals at the Olympics whereas Phelps has raced in something like 24 finals.

Ah, He didn't win the Jamaican Trials and fail stated at Worlds last Year. It is too soon for Bolt to show any major "chinks in his armor"

knelson
August 16th, 2012, 12:25 PM
Ah, He didn't win the Jamaican Trials and fail stated at Worlds last Year.

Yes, but the discussion is about the greatest Olympian, is it not? Anything outside the Olympics shouldn't matter.

It's sort of interesting that Phelps is only 14 months older than Bolt yet he's already been to four Olympics and Bolt has only been to two. Actually, I take that back. He did run the 200 meter in 2004, but didn't make it past prelims, so Bolt has NOT been perfect at the Olympics and he's competed in three Olympics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usain_Bolt#Early_professional_career_.282004.E2.80 .932007.29

__steve__
August 16th, 2012, 12:57 PM
I bet bolt regards himself as the greatest entity in the universe

pendaluft
August 16th, 2012, 01:51 PM
I bet bolt regards himself as the greatest entity in the universe

I feel that way about myself, too.

Chris Stevenson
August 16th, 2012, 02:42 PM
Much of the strength of the argument for Bolt is how dominant he has been, the fact that his WRs represent a quantum leap beyond the competition.

But he obviously lacks Phelps' versatility and longevity: in terms of medal count, Phelps was the premier Olympian for three consecutive Olympics. At his peak he was dominant in several events too but his competition has been catching him lately and none of his WRs look unassailable (before Lochte's swim in the Olympics I thought the 400 IM WR was untouchable).

Who knows what another 4 years will bring? Bolt's records may not look so untouchable then either (though maybe not, T&F WRs don't seem to have the same kind of steady improvement that swimming WRs do).

Bolt preens, talks and has a healthy ego, but I also think he sometimes has his tongue planted firmly in cheek. Regardless, he's a lot more interesting to listen to than Phelps.

tjrpatt
August 16th, 2012, 08:57 PM
Yes, but the discussion is about the greatest Olympian, is it not? Anything outside the Olympics shouldn't matter.

It's sort of interesting that Phelps is only 14 months older than Bolt yet he's already been to four Olympics and Bolt has only been to two. Actually, I take that back. He did run the 200 meter in 2004, but didn't make it past prelims, so Bolt has NOT been perfect at the Olympics and he's competed in three Olympics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usain_Bolt#Early_professional_career_.282004.E2.80 .932007.29

Phelps made it to finals at his first Olympics and at 15. Track and Field Athletes can compete up to 35ish. Bolt isn't a diversified track athlete. Jackie Joyner Kearse did the long jump as well as the heptathlon. Carl Lewis did the long jump as well as the sprints.

geochuck
August 16th, 2012, 09:00 PM
I heard he is pretty diversified, Basketball teams and football teams are showing interest in Bolt.

GregJS
August 16th, 2012, 09:09 PM
Bolt preens, talks and has a healthy ego, but I also think he sometimes has his tongue planted firmly in cheek. Regardless, he's a lot more interesting to listen to than Phelps.

Not sure how tongue-in-cheek he's being sometimes - you may be being overly-generous. But if he is trying to be, he needs to work on jamming it in there just a bit harder, IMHO.

Phelps at least comes across as a real person.

Not that I know (and I'm not sure why I even care) but Bolt seems like he'd be interesting for all of 5 minutes - then progressively more and more annoying.

JoeBob
August 16th, 2012, 09:12 PM
Phelps made it to finals at his first Olympics and at 15. Track and Field Athletes can compete up to 35ish. Bolt isn't a diversified track athlete. Jackie Joyner Kearse did the long jump as well as the heptathlon. Carl Lewis did the long jump as well as the sprints.

Heck yeah, Carl Lewis won the long jump at FOUR successive Olympics in addition to winning the 100 twice and the 200 once.
Lewis is the far more accomplished T&F Olympic athlete. Bolt is flashy and works the crowds, so that's good for their sport.

geochuck
August 16th, 2012, 09:26 PM
Carl Lewis ??? Has the drug controversy ever been settled.

The second of Carl Lewis' four consecutive Olympic long jump victories, in 1988 didn't become controversial for another fifteen years. In 2003, the U.S. Olympic Committee's former director for drug control, Dr. Wade Exum, revealed that Lewis had tested positive for small amounts of three banned stimulants at the 1988 Olympic Trials. The U.S. Olympic Committee neither banned Lewis nor released the test results publicly, ruling that his drug use was inadvertent and that the low levels discovered were not performance-enhancing. The levels of stimulants found in his test were less than 10 micrograms per milliliter.

SolarEnergy
August 17th, 2012, 11:06 AM
I bet bolt regards himself as the greatest entity in the universe

And that's one of his strength. He should not change anything in that attitude.

Sleeping is one important key during important meets. When you're absolutely convinced you're God on earth, you do sleep as if it was just a normal day.

Another angle under which it's fun to compare these two giants is about their contribution, what they brought to their sport. And I think in this regard they're head to head.

Bolt is clearly demonstrating that you can have success over 100m without growing mega muscle masses. I can not wait to see if the first one that will beat him over 100m will have chosen to take this path. Let's wait and see. Will it take yet another 100/200 specialist to beat him?

I can not recall anyone prior Phelps, swimming the fly like he taught us it can (or should?) be swam. His particular arm entry (shoulder then upper arm then forearm then hand), produces such a low splash level, I think it's still unmatched today. His breathing mechanics could (or should?) also be considered as *tha* way to go; which brought me to question systematic breathing patterns (every 2 stroke) displayed by a few swimmers over the 200m in London 2012.

Anyway, to the best of my knowledge, Phelps got beaten over the 200m Fly by a 5'10 young rooster that basically showed very similar characteristics (systematic breathing every stroke, clean arm entry though not as clean as Phelps).

tjrpatt
August 17th, 2012, 11:26 AM
And that's one of his strength. He should not change anything in that attitude.

Sleeping is one important key during important meets. When you're absolutely convinced you're God on earth, you do sleep as if it was just a normal day.

Another angle under which it's fun to compare these two giants is about their contribution, what they brought to their sport. And I think in this regard they're head to head.

Bolt is clearly demonstrating that you can have success over 100m without growing mega muscle masses. I can not wait to see if the first one that will beat him over 100m will have chosen to take this path. Let's wait and see. Will it take yet another 100/200 specialist to beat him?

I can not recall anyone prior Phelps, swimming the fly like he taught us it can (or should?) be swam. His particular arm entry (shoulder then upper arm then forearm then hand), produces such a low splash level, I think it's still unmatched today. His breathing mechanics could (or should?) also be considered as *tha* way to go; which brought me to question systematic breathing patterns (every 2 stroke) displayed by a few swimmers over the 200m in London 2012.


So many flyers use Phelps's breathing pattern. Chad Lo Clos saw Phelps's breathing pattern in Athens. In London, it was used to beat Phelps. I used Phelps's butterfly breathing for a while but, for me, I felt that I was getting too vertical at the end of a 200 fly. I went back to breathing 2 up, 1 down and 3 up, 1 down on the fly leg of the 400 IM. If I can remember properly, I think that everyone in the 200 fly Olympic final was breathing every stroke.

SolarEnergy
August 17th, 2012, 11:31 AM
I think that everyone in the 200 fly Olympic final was breathing every stroke. Certainly not (to us Canadian's misfortune).

For what it's worth, the choice of breathing every stroke or every other stroke is one that should come with technical modifications to the stroke, aimed at making you almost as fast inhaling twice as much o2. In other words, it ain't a matter of deciding upon a breathing pattern, as much as a matter of deciding upon the full stroke technique that allows to go for an *every stroke* breathing pattern without loosing speed. Something that our female flyer that tried to move up to the semi-finals didn't seem to understand.

What I mean here is that all too often, we hear swimmers saying I prefer breathing every two strokes because I'm faster this way. One of Phelps' legacy I believe is to invite you to go back to drilling / relearning until you change this.

That's my take, for what it's worth.

Again, same for Bolt. If I'm a 100m specialst, knowing how strong he is in the final 30-40meters, not sure if I would feel comfortable preparing to compete against him, without seriously tackling on the 200m as well.

JoeBob
August 17th, 2012, 01:38 PM
Carl Lewis ??? Has the drug controversy ever been settled.

The second of Carl Lewis' four consecutive Olympic long jump victories, in 1988 didn't become controversial for another fifteen years. In 2003, the U.S. Olympic Committee's former director for drug control, Dr. Wade Exum, revealed that Lewis had tested positive for small amounts of three banned stimulants at the 1988 Olympic Trials. The U.S. Olympic Committee neither banned Lewis nor released the test results publicly, ruling that his drug use was inadvertent and that the low levels discovered were not performance-enhancing. The levels of stimulants found in his test were less than 10 micrograms per milliliter.
Yes, he got busted for not declaring his cold medications. They probably should have banned him from competing at Seoul.
However, his absence from those Games would not change the fact that Ben Johnson tested positive for stanozolol, a potent steroid commonly used in horse racing.

jaadams1
August 17th, 2012, 04:33 PM
One more strike against Phelps in the news:

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/olympics-fourth-place-medal/michael-phelps-could-trouble-louis-vuitton-photos-141804124--oly.html

gobears
August 17th, 2012, 04:47 PM
One more strike against Phelps in the news:

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/olympics-fourth-place-medal/michael-phelps-could-trouble-louis-vuitton-photos-141804124--oly.html

Phelps probably didn't have anything to do with the leak of these photos. Don't know how this reflects on him poorly.

knelson
August 17th, 2012, 05:13 PM
Don't know how this reflects on him poorly.

It's doesn't. If anything it just highlights a ridiculous rule.

geochuck
August 17th, 2012, 05:25 PM
Rules are rules ridiculous or not.

knelson
August 17th, 2012, 05:28 PM
Rules are rules ridiculous or not.

I disagree. This is simply a money grab by the IOC. You see these athletes everywhere in ads during the Olympics. Apparently that's OK as long as they are Olympic sponsors. How is that fair?

And, for the record, I don't think Michael should have that LV bag so close to the tub. What's the retail price on it? A couple grand or so? :)

geochuck
August 17th, 2012, 05:53 PM
They should have taken my picture when I fell asleep in a bathtub in London after a party at Guild Hall London in 1958. I was bagged no price ticket attached..

SolarEnergy
August 18th, 2012, 12:45 PM
I disagree.
I 2 agree to disagree. I got sick of this IOC anyway, that "God on earth's" attitude...

The sad thing is that even when there are no rules, they create some on the fly (referring to the Ban of several teams during the Badminton tournament).

As for this particular case, once again, I have nothing against some decent form of punishment for having violated rule #40. But stripping the athlete off his medals would be absolute non sense. Obviously, as big as the IOC think they are, they couldn't strip Phelps from his medals without triggering some of the biggest Olympic scandal ever. So fine it shall be, and I'm not worried for Phelps.

The IOC should revise all these rules and remove any *stripping the athlete from his medal* mention, when not appropriate. But I guess it's not going to happen.

That Guy
August 18th, 2012, 02:09 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/olympics/swimming/story/michael-phelps-leaked-photos-louis-vuitton-ad-agent-says-not-ioc-violation-rule-40-081712

Phelps' agent makes a good case that Phelps did not break the rule.

For reference, here it is:

http://www.london2012.com/mm/Document/Publications/General/01/25/29/32/rule-40-guidelines_Neutral.pdf

lefty
August 20th, 2012, 09:25 AM
Phelps competes in a niche sport. Every able bodied person who has ever lived has been in a foot race. And Bolt has dominated the foot race like no one ever has and likely no one ever will. Whoever wrote that Bolt is a flash on the pan couldn't be more wrong. He will be the measuring stick for track and field when there are 20 billion people living on earth and swimming is no longer competed because of a lack of water. Shakespeare to, I don't know, John Irving.

The question, who is the better Olympian? Bolts Olympic career isn't even over. I guess I would lean phelps, but we have to see what bolt does in rio.