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anti-americanism and Michael Phelps

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  • 16-08-2008 4:21pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 184 ✭✭


    Check out the you tube link to the comments relating to Phelps win last night in the 100m butterfly. http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=ypaT6Q1RKXM&fromurl=/watch%3Fv%3DypaT6Q1RKXM. Maybe I'm being naive, but the amount of anti-american attitude out there saddens me. He is being targeted by people to express their political attitudes and somehow the fact that he is a great swimmer is being overlooked. It seems to be all about conspiracy theory, drugs etc. I know there can never be universal agreement on a subject but surely people can leave their politics to one side and just appreciate the wonderful achievements of a talented man. Or am I wrong?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭sock puppet


    I wouldn't really pay too much attention to comments on youtube. It's a breeding ground for idiots. But Americans aren't exactly blameless. The amount of jingoism I've seen is unreal. Look at some Americans responses after they won the mens 4x100 relay. The usual surrender monkey etc rhetoric. I said it on another thread but I think Alain Bernard has been given a particularly hard time this olympics. Much worse than what Phelps has put up with. Now I'm sure what a load of people on the internet think doesn't bother him but it's not right. He's an excellent competitor and was very gracious in defeat. And then look at the comments of some Aussies after he beat Sullivan saying he's on drugs etc. He can't win. If he loses he's a choker if he wins he's a cheater.

    Phelps is going through kinda the same thing. If he were to get 7 golds after going for 8 it would be regarded as a failure yet if he gets 8 then people will accuse him of cheating. Some people just see the olympics as an oppurtunity to score cheap political points.


  • Registered Users Posts: 38,423 ✭✭✭✭eagle eye


    At some stage FINA are going to have to step up and become more vigilant with their testing, until then there will always be a shadow cast over incredible swimming achievements.

    Just watched the 100m sprint final. Usain Bolt is star of the Olympics. MIchael who?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,379 ✭✭✭Jimbo


    There will always be speculation over unbelievable achievments like his.
    He has literally blown world record times out of the water. Speculation is just part of the game.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,099 ✭✭✭Lirange


    Almost every winner (and even many in arrears) at the Olympics has blown World Record times "out of the water"

    It's those expensive tech suits. The UK team that finished in 8th in the relay would have won gold with a world record in Athens. :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,099 ✭✭✭Lirange


    eagle eye wrote: »
    At some stage FINA are going to have to step up and become more vigilant with their testing, until then there will always be a shadow cast over incredible swimming achievements.
    I'm not as skeptical. He was an unparalleled age group swimmer. He broke the 200 fly world record at 15. The youngest ever to break a record. 6 golds in Athens at 19. Now he's in his prime and is making the most of his unique opportunity in Beijing.

    Bolt's win was certainly taking his event to the next level. We'll see how he holds up over the next four years. But the metres Phelps swims for training would make the Jamaican blush.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,256 ✭✭✭metaoblivia


    I think a lot of people - Americans included - are beginning to tire of the media circus surrounding Phelps, and it's creating a backlash. Many of my friends, all Americans, are really annoyed with Phelps because the American networks keep cutting away from gymnastics to show swimming. A few have even gone so far as to call Phelps a media whore and to say they hope he doesn't win the 8 gold medals.
    I think Phelps has kept a really level head about all of this; it's the media that insists upon hyping him up and showing him getting a massage between events when they could be showing another sporting event.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,155 ✭✭✭juvenal


    Phelps has just won the eight gold, so it will only get worse. Phelps himself appears to be very down to earth and modest. He was asked on NBC here the other night (which typifies their attitude towards this story really) if he was the greatest Olympian of all time. Phelps had the wherewithal to answer that he preferred most decorated, as there was no way to compare his achievements in the pool with other sports.

    Of course NBC are concerned about the average Joe sitting at home muching on Doritos and how they impact on their viewing figures. After paying the billions of dollars for rights, they demanded that the swimming finals be held early in the morning to suit prime time television in the US. NBC built their coverage around Phelps' performances, and credit to him, he pulled it off. I would argue that his achievements are no greater than any other Olympians from a sporting point of view. Yes, he won eight golds which is a phenomenal record, but all the athletes out there that are not professional and don't get the limelight are just as important to the Olympics as Michael Phelps. NBC didn't even show the 100m mens final live - and that is the flaship track and field event at the Olympics!:eek:

    That says it all really.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,625 ✭✭✭AngryHippie


    To be fair, If he is doping, He'll be caught, Until then, the man with 14 olympic golds gets my full respect and admiration, even if he is a physical freak of nature. End of story


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,155 ✭✭✭juvenal


    To get an idea of the media frenzy in the US regarding Phelps' achievements, see this article:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=3539324

    If I could be bothered I'd email the author and tell him that the article managed to insult every athlete that is competing in Beijing 2008. "Saving" the games??

    The backlash in some quarters is solely over the US media coverage of these Olympics. Phelps himself appears to be a very down-to-earth and likeable fellow, but NBC have used his performances to boost their ratings and advertising revenues. Unfortunately the $$$ are running the media and Olympic coverage in the US. There's already ads on NBC selling a DVD about "Michael Phelps - The Complete Story of 8 golds" :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,099 ✭✭✭Lirange


    Mr. Forde seems to be making the case that it saved the games in the context of the American audience. I'm sure from a bottom line standpoint that's true ... I'm sure NBC's ratings got a boost.

    I don't detect as much "anti Americanism" this time. I use the term somehwat loosely as I don't think cheering on the underdogs is necessarily anti Americanism.

    There's seems to be plenty of anti Chinese sentiment though.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,155 ✭✭✭juvenal


    Lirange wrote: »
    Mr. Forde seems to be making the case that it saved the games in the context of the American audience. I'm sure from a bottom line standpoint that's true ... I'm sure NBC's ratings got a boost.

    I don't detect as much "anti Americanism" this time. I use the term somehwat loosely as I don't think cheering on the underdogs is necessarily anti Americanism.

    There's seems to be plenty of anti Chinese sentiment though.

    I feel he could've phrased the whole article differently if he was writing the article on ratings, it's not a business magazine. It was tabloid-esque (well it is ESPN). I agree that cheering the underdogs is in no way anti-American - in many ways it's the armchair fan identifying with the average Joe :)

    There seems to be an anti-Chinese sentiment more so in sports where they don't have a traditional track-record. In events like Diving, Gymnastics, table-tennis etc they are expected to perform. On one hand I feel in a country of over a billion people, they should have world-class athletes in all sports, but obviously the facilities and economy aren't comparable to the likes of the US. I know when they were awarded the 2008 Olympics, they embarked on a massive program of training and used this as one big promotion event for China.

    OT - IMO NBC (and I watch it simultaneously with CBC every day) are putting self-interest ahead of the sporting aspect of the Olympics. They are thanking their lucky stars that Phelps achieved what he did, as their entire advertising and programming was built around him and also the women's gymnastics events. I appreciate that they are a business, and ratings = revenue, but it's almost sickening. There's been quite a backlash online from ordinary US viewers, who haven't seen anything much apart from swimming and gymnastics this past week. Unfortunately there's no ethic of public service in US broadcasting, unlike Europe or even Canada, where there is a specific national broadcaster who has a remit of public service.

    They've also delayed coverage to the mountain and west-coast regions, to the point that the relay race wasn't screened live last night on the west coast, waiting until it was "prime-time" on that side of the country, by which point everyone knew the result! They also failed to screen either the men's or women's 100m finals live. For the traditional blue-riband events, this is crazy.
    Lirange wrote: »
    Bolt's win was certainly taking his event to the next level. We'll see how he holds up over the next four years. But the metres Phelps swims for training would make the Jamaican blush.

    I have to disagree on this one point Lirange; Phelps' training regime doesn't make him any better or worse than the other athletes in these Olympics. The amount of metres he swims in unique to his sport, in the same way you could argue that the amount of weight Ilya Ilin lifts, or the distance Kenenisa Bekele runs, would make both Bolt and Phelps blush.

    I know you're clearly a big Phelps fan, and rightly so, but everyone has a different playing field :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 725 ✭✭✭muggyog


    Up side of Phelps success is that I've discovered a new American word ( most winningst! ). :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 37 tracto


    Personnally i'd hve no doubt whatsover about Phelps being clean. The main is simply a swimming machine. Theres no way he was doping when he was smashing records as a 15 yr old. He has got it all, he's got the perfect physique, trains the hardest, the perfect racing mentality and most importantly he has the best stroke.

    I read that he is actually quite ordinary when he does fitness and strength tests on land and gets he ass kicked by all his training partners (incl some of the women), put him back in his natural habitat though and there's no touching him.

    Any criticism of him is simple begrudgery and as the OP said anti americanism (which they bring on themselves in fairness :()


  • Registered Users Posts: 55,704 ✭✭✭✭walshb


    What Phelps did was pretty amazing and he is a star athlete; but after watching Bolt in the 100m, it's like, so what Michael, you did well, but IMO it does not compare to what Bolt did
    to a quality field over 100 metres. Bolt so far is the STAR of the games, and if he dominates
    the 200 metres, it's a seal!

    I listened to Michael Johnson commenting on Phelps and he wasn't overly impressed. He basically said that
    the swimmers are breaking records like there is no tomorrow and that it has lost that specialness about it.
    Now, he may be a little jealous that a white swimmer is grabbing all the headlines, but he has a point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,563 ✭✭✭connundrum


    Like conspiracy theories?

    http://www.001ofasecond.com/


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭sock puppet


    connundrum wrote: »
    Like conspiracy theories?

    http://www.001ofasecond.com/

    Photos of a race = epic fail

    What these people all seem to lack is a plausible explanation for how the race could have been fixed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,193 ✭✭✭Andrewf20


    muggyog wrote: »
    Up side of Phelps success is that I've discovered a new American word ( most winningst! ). :)

    Yes, I heard the BBC commentators use that word alright.

    Video is unavailable? :confused: Looks like I missed out there. From reading the posts above though, I come to a conclusion - show us some data to back up claims, otherwise im not interested.


  • Registered Users Posts: 422 ✭✭Nonmonotonic


    Lets put 001ofasecond.com to bed, Cavic glided in, Phelps swam in .

    From another swimming thread.


  • Registered Users Posts: 184 ✭✭síofra


    Lets put 001ofasecond.com to bed, Cavic glided in, Phelps swam in .

    From another swimming thread.
    Thank you!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,153 ✭✭✭Rented Mule


    Lirange wrote: »
    I'm not as skeptical. He was an unparalleled age group swimmer. He broke the 200 fly world record at 15. The youngest ever to break a record. 6 golds in Athens at 19. Now he's in his prime and is making the most of his unique opportunity in Beijing.

    Actually on the Women's side Mary T. Maegher owned the 200m butterfly world record as a 12 year old. It stood for nearly 20 years,


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,153 ✭✭✭Rented Mule


    eagle eye wrote: »
    At some stage FINA are going to have to step up and become more vigilant with their testing, until then there will always be a shadow cast over incredible swimming achievements.

    Let me preface my comments by saying that I am a huge Micael Phelps fan going back to his age groups swimming days.

    FINA is not the drug testing entity in these cases. The IOC are the ones who have to keep up with newer forms of 'doping'. As we saw in the BALCO scandal in San Francisco, the newer drugs are being reverse-engineered off of the test to be undetectable (at this particular time). The 'B' samples that the athletes are 'donating' are going to have to be checked in the years to come.

    I believe that Phelps is clean. I beleive that he is a genetic 'freak' who happens to be built for swimming.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,153 ✭✭✭Rented Mule


    connundrum wrote: »
    Like conspiracy theories?

    http://www.001ofasecond.com/


    This conspiracy theory has been validated 267,972 unique times since August 16 @ 1700 GMT

    So these people feel 'validated' because someone clicked on a link ?

    Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

    As someone who swam competitively for 20 years, I am curious (as Sock Puppet mentioned) 'how does one fix a race of this proportion on the biggest stage in the World?' ?

    By their rationale, since the race was 'fixed', then Phelps could have finished 8th in the final and still would have shown up as the winner by 0.01 ??


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