Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt—Who's the Man of the Olympics?

Billy Sexton@@billysextonAnalyst IAugust 20, 2008

We are witnessing history right now.

Michael Phelps became the greatest Olympian ever by winning eight gold medals in Beijing, beating Mark Spitz's previous record of seven.

He won medals in:

  • 400m Individual Medley (WR)
  • 4x100m Freestyle (WR)
  • 200m Freestyle (WR)
  • 200m Butterfly (WR)
  • 4x200m Freestyle Relay (WR)
  • 200m Individual Medley (WR)
  • 100m Butterfly (OR)
  • 4x100m Medley Relay (WR)

Ladies and gentlemen, that record is just amazing. I for one don't expect to see another swimming performance like it in my lifetime—and I'm still a teenager!

Mark Spitz said: "It goes to show you that not only is this guy the greatest swimmer of all time and the greatest Olympian of all time, he's maybe the greatest athlete of all time. He's the greatest racer who ever walked the planet."

If some of you (and I doubt there are many) don't realise how amazing Phelps is,  imagine one of your country's athletes (unless you are American) bringing home four golds. Now double that.

The guy is a legend, a world beater.

Speaking of world beaters, what about Usain Bolt—the fastest man on the planet?

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Bolt, a 6'5" Jamaican, is the man who has re-lit the sprinting fire. Even before the Olympics he had amazed the world, having set a 100m world record of just 9.72 seconds.

Then, dominating the final in Beijing, he cantered over the line to set a new record of 9.69 seconds, becoming the only sprinter in history to (legally) run faster than 9.7 seconds.

Let's look at his Beijing record:

  • 100m Sprint (WR)
  • 200m Sprint (WR)
  • 4x100m Relay (WR)

Now, you look at the stats of the two men and Phelps wins hands down. Yet, do you ever expect to see another sprinter like Usain Bolt? Somebody who beats a world record that has stood for 12 years? That is no ordinary guy.

So which athlete gets my vote?

It has got to be Usain Bolt. I think the guy is amazing—a megastar and a joker (just look at his attitude before a race).

No disrespect to Phelps. He is incredible, too. But the history of sprinting and the fact that I prefer athletics to swimming gives my vote to Bolt.

What do you think? Man of the Olympics: Phelps or Bolt? Tell me in your comments and don't forget to rate this article!

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