Sunday, August 17, 2008

Congratulations Michael Phelps

By Rick Morris

In one of the most impressive athletic feats not merely in Olympic history, but in the whole of human athletic history, Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in Beijing this past week, climaxing with an exciting relay on Sunday morning local time. Along the way, he set numerous world records and participated in some exciting races that almost did not go his way. I frankly did not believe the hype coming in about sweeping all eight races; so much had to go right and there was no margin for error, not merely counting himself but also the teammates on whom he would be dependent in the relay races. But the breaks as well as the skill led to this moment, one unprecedented in the entire history of the Summer or Winter Games.

In the days ahead, historians will search for parallels to other massive accomplishments, whether it be Michael Jordan's run of NBA titles in the 1990s or Tiger Woods' accrual of major championships. Even with my love of history, I'm still unsure at the moment where exactly this places -- but I do know that we just witnessed a unique piece of history, one that we will be telling our children and grandchildren about in the decades to come. Congratulations to one of the finest athletes our country has ever produced and thank you for representing us in the dominating manner that we deserve to be represented.

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