Phelps, Bolt and an unfortunate IOC President

During the Games there was silence in respect of the impact of pollution on the athletes and the potential health risks to the world’s best.

The Beijing Olympics has come and gone and its success has been overwhelming in virtually every department.

Michael Phelps

It was long in the making. The journey began in the Athens Olympics when Michael Phelps of the USA signalled his immense potential. In his preparation for the Beijing Olympics, Phelps declared his fitness and overwhelming dominance of the pool in the most emphatic way at the US Trials. The announcement that he would be seeking eight gold medals in the swimming competition in Beijing was a declaration of his date with destiny.

Phelps’ own humble approach to the sport was underscored by his comment to the media that it was they and not him that was the guilty party in making a comparison between himself and Mark Spitz, another US swimmer who held the record for seven gold medals in swimming at one Olympics. The hype, Phelps reminded the media, came from them and not from him.

On the second morning of the swimming competition, Michael Phelps won his first gold medal with an astonishing world record performance. In one event after another Phelps swam his way to a new status in world sporting history.