View Full Version : What was the Greatest Sporting Event of 2008?

12-30-2008, 03:42 PM
Phelps a study in physical, mental toughness

By Dan Wetzel (http://sports.yahoo.com/top/expertsarchive;_ylt=AlCjVzqZwWt2GfG59ZEEUjG_b7sF?a uthor=Dan+Wetzel), Yahoo! Sports Dec 29, 3:20 pm EST


Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the finals for the mens 100m butterfly at the National Aquatics Center during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
(Jerry Lai-US Presswire)

Editor’s note: Michael Phelps’ eight gold medals in Beijing is Yahoo! Sports’ choice for 2008 sports story of the year.
Swimming wasn’t their thing. It wasn’t anyone’s thing, though.

“A once-every-four-year sport,” is how Michael Phelps himself described it. He was probably being generous. Every time the Summer Olympics rolled around, swimming entered the sporting consciousness, but only for a few days.

Other than the proverbial women’s swimmer turned pin-up girl, its impact tended to die in the wake of the final lap.
At a superficial level, swimming is a simple sport to understand – jump in the water and beat the other guy to the wall. The intricacies of how that is accomplished, how speed is maximized, how core strength is developed, don’t have to be understood to follow a race.

Yet Americans remained ambivalent until Michael Phelps showed up in a giant blue cube of an aquatics center just north of downtown Beijing last August and claimed he was going to capture a record eight gold medals. Then he proceeded to collect them, one after the other, right in primetime in America.

That’s what got a lot of people who claimed swimming wasn’t their thing to start watching and, most importantly, wondering.
That’s what got Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and some of the other greatest, richest and most famous basketball players in the world to turn out on a Sunday morning to watch a swim race.

“Phelpsian” has entered the sporting vocabulary, not so much because of the number of golds he had hung from his neck, but for the crossover respect of how it was accomplished.

Bryant and James and every other star athlete and studious coach around the globe didn’t need to understand lap counts or lactate levels to want to understand how Michael Phelps got so mentally tough. They wanted to know whether they could duplicate it.
“It was just awesome to see,” Bryant said of witnessing Phelps in person. “It was incredible.”

Phelps didn’t just turn the world onto swimming. He turned a fairly dull swimmer into the most intriguing athlete on the globe.
Whether your competitive pursuit is basketball, baseball or business, there was something to marvel at with Phelps. He was clearly the most physically gifted, but he needed to find a way to deliver that every time in 17 swims over nine days.

Waiting to dethrone him was the rest of the world. To beat Phelps once was more valuable than winning gold in any event he wasn’t in. The second most famous swimmer to emerge from the Games was Milorad Cavic, a Californian competing for Serbia, who lost by 0.01 in the 100-meter butterfly.

In each event, Phelps had to hold off the best specialist in the world. That guy could train and focus on beating Phelps. Phelps had to match it, then come back, sometimes on the same day, and match it again. Only this time he had to match it against a different guy with the same focus on a singular victory that the last guy had. And the next guy would. And the next after that.

It was like a boxing match with a new opponent every round.

Dean Denton
12-30-2008, 04:19 PM
The return of the Legend Killer Randy Orton.......I can tell you what will be the greatest sporting moment of 2009...Shane Mosley beating Antonio Margario on Jan 24th.....Its all about the sugar baby...

Give it time and it will come out the Phelps was juicin.....Freakin Ravens fan....boooo

12-30-2008, 06:18 PM
IMO, without question, Phelps. The athletic talent of Michael Phelps may not be matched for awile, he was fun to watch.

12-30-2008, 07:37 PM
Has to be the G-Men kicking that :moon: and watching them patzeez http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s202/smostle/smileys/thcrysmiley1.gif PRICELESS !!!!

12-30-2008, 08:02 PM
Close call for me. I enjoyed watching the Giants beat up on the Patriots so much! I haven't ever been that into a non-Steeler Super Bowl before. I could watch that clip of Jay Alford crushing Tom Brady over and over again. I also enjoyed the National Title Game of Memphis vs. Kansas. That was a thriller. The US Open kept me on the edge of my seat (I didn't know Golf could do that). I mean seeing Tiger do that, hurt and all was jaw-dropping. I mean I feel kind of sorry for Rocco.

Then there's Phelps. In that race I thought, like the rest of the world, that he was done. I just still can't believe he pulled that out! Becasue of that races' significance and the kind stage it was on (the freakin' Olympics) I just have pick that. I've never seen anything like that before and am unlikely to see something like it ever again.

12-30-2008, 10:30 PM
Phelps and the relay team, that along with the girls gymnastics and Bolt made this a very fun olympics to watch.

12-30-2008, 11:12 PM
No Love for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals??? NO JUSTICE!!!