By Chuck Knoles
If you were watching the Rio Olympics swimming, you witnessed one of the most successful performances by a USA Olympic Swimming team (or any team in any sport) at the Rio Olympics in the history of the Olympic Games. It was breathtaking to watch and spine tingling to see the unparalleled success of our athletes.
A few (but not all) of the highlights…
We saw the repeat of a Gold Medal 50 Meter swim by Anthony Ervin 16 years apart. Ageless!
We watched Katie Ledecky totally dominate her events with four Gold Medals and a Silver Medal and set two Olympic records and two world records! Uncatchable!
We watched Simone Manuel become the first African-American woman to win a gold medal from the USA in swimming. Inspiring!
We watched a finger wagging Lilly King back up her disdain for “drug cheats” by winning the 100 Breaststroke in Gold medal fashion! Resounding!
We witnessed Ryan Murphy continue the USA’s domination in the 100 and 200 Backstrokes-events that have been in the USA Gold medal column for decades! Dominance!
And we saw Michael Phelps add another FIVE, yes FIVE Gold medals, and one Silver to his Olympic medal count giving him 28 Olympic medals over his career. (That is an amazing 14 Gold medals ahead of the person in the number two spot behind him.) Historical!
Michael Phelps vs Usain Bolt
Then, last night, I watched as Usain Bolt won his third 100 meter Olympic gold in track.
The NBC commentator (from Jamaica) raised the comparison between Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps stating that no one has ever dominated an event so thoroughly in track as Usain has (true).
But he went on to state that he felt that Bolt deserved the title of the Greatest Olympic Athlete ever! BALDERDASH!
Although it was exciting to see a runner repeat for a Gold Medal in the same event and win it three times, that kind of stuff was already “old news” by the time Phelps’ finished swimming a few days ago.
In comparison to Phelps, Usain is just a “blip” on the Olympic dominance of events. His total lifetime Olympic gold medal count will be less than Phelps hauled in on just this one Rio Olympics.
He runs just sprint events-the 100 and 200 meters. Phelps’ spectrum of events ranges from sprinting the 100 Fly, to the 200 Fly, to the 200 IM, to the 200 Free. In my opinion, there is NO comparison between Phelps’ spread of events and Bolt’s specialty of running sprints in two events.
In the end, the inspirational swims we saw in Rio were incredible, phenomenal, unmatched!
Congrats to USA SWIMMING and the standard they have set for the rest of the world to chase!