I’ll preface this by saying I’m tired of hearing about Michael Phelps and especially about his mother. I’ve never met him before and I don’t know if he’s a good guy or a jerk. But this isn’t about Debbie Phelps, or Michael Phelps the person; I’m writing about Michael Phelps the athlete.
Put aside the over kill of Mrs. Phelps and Michael’s sister. Put aside the media over saturation point, put aside the DUI of 2004 in Salisbury or the “bong” incident of 2008. Let’s talk about Michael Phelps the swimmer.
Yesterday Phelps broke the all-time Olympic medal record of 18. At last count Michael has 19 medals accumulated over three Olympics. He earned two bronze and six gold medals in Athens, Greece during the 2004 Olympiad. In 2008 while in Peking, China, Michael earned eight gold medals. And thus far as of August 1, 2012 at 2:41pm e.s.t., Phelps has two silver and one gold medal in the London games. (Courtesy of http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/michael-phelps-olympic-record-most-medals_n_1725206.html)
Now as impressive as Cal Ripken’s “Iron” Man streak of 1982 to 1998; his feat was that of regional importance. His accomplishment was more appreciated by those in North America and maybe a few Latin American countries interested in American baseball.
But Michael Phelps is the most decorated athlete in the history of the Summer Olympics. He is not merely a regional hero or a hero in North America, he’s now and forever will be known throughout the entire globe.
Therefore despite my personal feelings about his family pimping themselves and exploiting his fame, I believe that it is a no brainer that Phelps should have a statue erected in his honor. I think the most appropriate place (as I saw suggested) would be in front of the National Aquarium at the Inner Harbor. I’m sure of course if Michael gets a trophy, Debbie would want one too. lol