Did They Cut The Star Spangled Banner Short? : Oh Well He's Got 7 More To Go

Gregory SharpeCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2008

After the most entertaining 4 minutes and 3.84 seconds of my day was over I can honestly say Michael Phelps is the most dominate athlete in his particular sport I have ever seen.  On a scale of 1 to 100 hundred I’d say Jordan was a 90, in his prime “Iron Mike” was a 95.  I’d say Tiger Woods is a 99, but Phelps is a 100.  He can swim the swim 400 meters faster than we can run the mile, but the thing that propels him over Tiger is Phelps wins…   Everything!  Everywhere!  Every time! Well that and a difference of about $90,000,000 in endorsements. 

It seems like Phelps has been around forever, but 8 years after his Olympic debut in Sydney in 2000, the 23 year old started his mission to win a record eight gold medals in Beijing with a splash.  Phelps not only won the 400 Meter Individual Medley on Saturday, he crushed his own world record of 4:05.25 he set while qualifying for the games.    

I can’t remember the last time I came within 20 feet of a pool,  but seeing Phelps dawn the jacket, throw on the goggles, slide on the swim cap, do his customary arm stretch, then jump in water and crush the competition got me pumped about what we might see by the games end on the 24th

Mark Spitz grabbed seven gold medals in Munich in 1972, but if anyone can eclipse that mark, it’s Phelps.

The 100 & 200 meter fly, 100 & 200 meter backstroke, 100 & 200 meter free-style, 200 & 400 individual medley and the 400 free are all on Phelps’ list and his toughest race is probably behind him.

The President himself showed more that oh so needed emotion that he’s had on display now that his time in the White House in ending.  In the crowd, sport coat nowhere to be found, with his sleeves rolled up pushing America’s brightest star to the finish line with the rest of the crowd that packed the Beijing Water Cube for a chance to view a piece of history. I don’t think I’ve ever seen “W” that fired up. 

Phelps is the favorite in every race he’s entered in, probably even the favorite in the races he’s not in!  He will finish with eight medals regardless, but if he finishes with eight gold medals Michael could set a record that will probably never be broken. 

And who do we have o thank for this impossible possibility?  Ian Thorpe retired Olympic swimmer who beat Phelps in the pool in 2004 in Athens halting Phelps at only six gold medals.  Funny, I say that as if five gold’s is a failure…  Anyway.  Thorpe has gone on record as saying that Phelps can’t and wouldn’t make to eight first place finishes because the competition is too stiff. 

Others have said its “impossible.”  But I’m sure it was “impossible” when Spitz grabbed seven.  In that case, tune into “Mission Impossible 2: the Race for Eight” starring Michael Phelps, now playing on CBS.