Michael Phelps, 8 Golds 1 Silver

Brian ElbergCorrespondent IAugust 21, 2008

I sat awestruck as I watched Jason Lezak finish off Michael Phelps' incredible week, during which he won 8 gold medals, eclipsing Mark Spitz's record of 7.  I was sure that I would never see another Olympic performance that impressive.  However, I was wrong.  Just later that night I would witness the beginning of the REAL most impressive performance in Olympic history.  That was the performance of USAIN "lightning" BOLT.  Most people are probably thinking that I'm crazy but I don't think so, and here's why.

1) Swimming technology has improved infinitely more than track technology.  First the LZR racer.  This new state of the art swim suit had never before been used in Olympic competition.  Also the water cube, with 10 lanes instead of 8 there are very few waves interfering with the swimmers as there are in many other pools.  Not to mention it is the perfect depth, 3 meters, because, according to Rowdy Gaines "if it's too deep, you lose your sense of vision and where you're at in the pool. But it's just deep enough to where the waves dissipate (and) the turbulence dissipates down to the bottom".  These two things make the water cube "by far the fastest pool in the world".  All in all 25 swimming world records fell at these games compared with just 9 in Athens.

Track technology on the other hand as essentially been the same for many years so that Usain Bolt doesn't have the same advantages over a guy like Michael Johnson as Mike Phelps has over Mark Spitz.  

2) Michael Phelps obliterates his competition, Bolt leaves them on another planet.  Yes Michael Phelps did destroy his competition in nearly every event but in the 100 meter dash Usain Bolt ran 85 hard meters then essentially did a 15m touchdown dance, and still broke the world record, according to the commentators he probably could have run a 9.59.  Then in the 200m Usain Bolt beat Michael Johnson's world record by .2 seconds, but he was going into  1 SECOND HEAD WIND which means basically he broke a World record by 1.2 seconds that's like breaking the Marathon record by 8 minutes!

3) It's easier to race more events in swimming.  In all levels of swimming it is normal for one individual to race multiple strokes and events.  In track almost no runners run the 1,2 and 400 hundred making it impossible for Bolt ever to come close to Phelps' record.

Not to take anything away from Michael Phelps, what he did was truly unbelievable but not as unbelievable as Usain "Lightning" Bolt.