If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Yahoo)   Where does Michael Phelps rank among the 10 greatest Olympians of all time? Pretty high, I'd guess   (sports.yahoo.com) divider line 66
    More: Hero, Carl Lewis, relay team, freestyle relay, individual medley, Olympic record, track and field, exact science, Mark Spitz  
•       •       •

2878 clicks; posted to Sports » on 02 Aug 2012 at 10:41 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



66 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-08-02 10:45:23 AM
Nice of them to include a whole three token non-Americans in that list.
 
2012-08-02 10:45:30 AM
He should be first.
 
2012-08-02 10:46:48 AM
I see what you did there, subby...
 
2012-08-02 10:56:40 AM
Yeah, why is he not first? If we're going by medals...
 
2012-08-02 10:57:07 AM
He ranks right behind Tebow who doesn't have to participate to be considered the greatest Olympian.
 
2012-08-02 10:57:32 AM
no I think Lewis does deserve 1st...
 
2012-08-02 10:58:18 AM
Incidentally, for all of you that are going to jump in and point out that a sedative can't be performance enhancing, please at least take a VAGUE thought about how an endurance athlete might use a drug that increases appetite, kills pain, and keeps you from feeling boring with repetitive tasks.
 
2012-08-02 10:58:56 AM
not to knock his accomplishment but I always found total medal count a bit of a skewed stat when comparing different sports. a swimmer can compete in 4 strokes, 5 if you include im at varying distances. that means a swimmer has way more medals insoluble to them then say a soccer player who only has one.
 
2012-08-02 11:06:09 AM
For a single Olympics, it's Spitz. Seven events, seven golds, seven world records.
 
2012-08-02 11:09:50 AM

gund goat: not to knock his accomplishment but I always found total medal count a bit of a skewed stat when comparing different sports. a swimmer can compete in 4 strokes, 5 if you include im at varying distances. that means a swimmer has way more medals insoluble to them then say a soccer player who only has one.


This is true, and should be taken into account. But what else should be taken into account is the fact that he beat the absolute best competition in the world, on the world's biggest stage, with the maximum imaginable pressure, that many times.

By contrast, look at the trash-talking Aussie favorite in the men's 100 free yesterday. Everyone thought it was in the bag, including him... but he got beat anyway. Look at how many times Phelps rose to that sort of challenge and made it happen. That's something.
 
2012-08-02 11:12:13 AM
Wilbon's article was better.

/Canadian chick who won medals in bicycling (Summer) and speed skating (Winter) Games is pretty epic
//as is 6 years without so much as giving up a point in wrestling
///of course the list is going to be USA-heavy, go and look at medal counts for Olympics over the last century and note the team at the top in pretty much all of 'em
 
2012-08-02 11:14:56 AM

Mr_Fabulous: with the maximum imaginable pressure, that many times.


It's not really maximum imaginable pressure if you are in a situation where "well, I lost, looks like I'm only gonna have a chance at 7 golds." The men's basketball team has pressure - any loss and they're pretty much reviled in the US.

Oh, and in team sports you have to beat the best competition in the world many times just to win one medal.
 
2012-08-02 11:20:15 AM
I'll go with Owens #1.
 
2012-08-02 11:26:36 AM
Swimming has too many redundant events. I don't even know why they have different strokes. You don't see any medals handed out for backwards running or crabwalking, do you? It should be the fastest at various distances by any means possible. And get rid of those silly medley events.
 
2012-08-02 11:27:36 AM
It is close between Carl Lewis and Phelps, but 8 gold in 8 tries in 2008 give Phelps the edge as #1 for me. All of these

Lewis
Phelps
Owens
Sptiz
Thorpe

all these guys are legitimate #1s
 
2012-08-02 11:29:22 AM

Ishkur: You don't see any medals handed out for backwards running or crabwalking, do you?


You are aware of race-walking, yes?
 
2012-08-02 11:31:53 AM

Dear Jerk: For a single Olympics, it's Spitz. Seven events, seven golds, seven world records.


Eric Heiden on line two sir.....
 
2012-08-02 11:32:24 AM

Dear Jerk: For a single Olympics, it's Spitz. Seven events, seven golds, seven world records.


Better than 8 events, 8 golds, 7 world records, 1 olympic record?
 
2012-08-02 11:33:34 AM
Emil Zatopek in the 1952 Olympics.
 
2012-08-02 11:49:21 AM

gund goat: not to knock his accomplishment but I always found total medal count a bit of a skewed stat when comparing different sports. a swimmer can compete in 4 strokes, 5 if you include im at varying distances. that means a swimmer has way more medals insoluble to them then say a soccer player who only has one.


I agree with you. He's done great for our country but it's very unfair to compare sports like this. To say greatest based on count is just encouraging ignorance.

Soccer on a larger court. Backwards soccer. Relay soccer. Soccer medley relay.
 
2012-08-02 11:51:40 AM

Mr_Fabulous: You are aware of race-walking, yes?


And how many events can one win a medal in that style?
 
2012-08-02 11:53:26 AM

Ishkur: You don't see any medals handed out for backwards running or crabwalking, do you?


I don't see why not, to be honest. Those would be fun to watch. Though I think bear crawls should be the 4th one - then you can have an IM of running, backwards running, bear crawling, and crabwalking.

Which would immediately be the most awesome track event.
 
2012-08-02 12:06:14 PM

IAmRight: I don't see why not, to be honest. Those would be fun to watch. Though I think bear crawls should be the 4th one - then you can have an IM of running, backwards running, bear crawling, and crabwalking.

Which would immediately be the most awesome track event.


Dude - you are onto something there.

(I was a crab soccer god in 4th grade)
 
2012-08-02 12:09:19 PM

gund goat: not to knock his accomplishment but I always found total medal count a bit of a skewed stat when comparing different sports. a swimmer can compete in 4 strokes, 5 if you include im at varying distances. that means a swimmer has way more medals insoluble to them then say a soccer player who only has one.


I agree. And yet (this is somewhat related to what Mr_Fabulous said above), the fact that Phelps got the job done every. single. time. is incredible. When you have a whole bunch of games to play and only one medal at the end, chances are you've also had a chance to rely on your teammates and coast against the weaker competition at times. Phelps might have been able to take it somewhat easy in some qualifying heats, but even then, he couldn't let up by all that much. For someone to have gold on the line in 8 different competitions, and emerge as a dominant force in all 8, is really something special.
 
2012-08-02 12:10:58 PM
6. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, USA, Track and Field
Olympics: 1984-1996
Medals: 6 (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)

Someone failed to qualify for the counting competition. They mention #7 had one taken away but nothing in regards to JJ-K
 
2012-08-02 12:13:21 PM
Greatest would have to include outside the competitions as well as inside.

Take Amelie Bettencourt
Won the all-around figure skating and the 5k x-country skiing and was part of the team biathlon event
Won the standing broad jump, the old pentathlon and ALL the dressage events and the crossbow
Won the Nobel Prize in physiology for her work on lung surface area respiration
patented the tractic gremlar, which is still in use (or was) on the space shuttle
patents in electronics
won the Panesco award for bringing clean water to children in Rhodesia
solo circumnavigation of Africa by canoe, including Suez opening
deciphement and decryption of moabite linear 2.
 
2012-08-02 12:13:26 PM
I'd say the competition is between Carl Lewis, Aleksandr Karelin, and Michael Phelps for GOAT. At that point, it's apples, oranges, and grapefruits.
 
2012-08-02 12:16:41 PM

Super Chronic: When you have a whole bunch of games to play and only one medal at the end, chances are you've also had a chance to rely on your teammates and coast against the weaker competition at times.


Sort of like how Lezak won Phelps one of his medals?
 
2012-08-02 12:17:41 PM
Clara Hughes of Canada needs to be way up on this list. Medals in both summer and winter Olympics.
Incredible athlete.
 
2012-08-02 12:18:10 PM

Serious Black: I'd say the competition is between Carl Lewis, Aleksandr Karelin, and Michael Phelps for GOAT. At that point, it's apples, oranges, and grapefruits.


Am I crazy or has carl lewis not fail multiple drug tests?
 
2012-08-02 12:21:01 PM

huckfarley: Clara Hughes of Canada needs to be way up on this list. Medals in both summer and winter Olympics.
Incredible athlete.


yup, when Phelps can get a medal in short track speed skating I'll be more impressed.
 
2012-08-02 12:23:13 PM
If I remember correctly, it's gotta be Dan or Dave.
 
2012-08-02 12:24:05 PM

Ishkur: You don't see any medals handed out for backwards running or crabwalking, do you?


Swimming:
6 regular distances (50m, 100, 200, 400, 1500, 10000/marathon)
3 relays
8 specialty strokes/distances (100/200 breast, 100/200 back, 100/200 fly, 200/400 IM)
There is no chance to compete in any other events.

Running:
8 regular distances (100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 5000, 10000, marathon)
2 relays
5 specialty events/distances (100/400 hurdle, steeplechase, 20k/50k racewalk)
Plus, many of the best runners also compete in long jump, triple jump, decathalon...

Doesn't seem uneven to me.
 
2012-08-02 12:24:43 PM

HeathenHealer: Emil Zatopek in the 1952 Olympics.


So very much this.

Oh a marathon you say? Never tried one, let's give it a shot. Gold AND Olympic record. Ridiculous.
 
2012-08-02 12:27:52 PM

huckfarley: Clara Hughes of Canada needs to be way up on this list. Medals in both summer and winter Olympics.
Incredible athlete.


I agree. She ended up 5th in this years time trial... at age 39.
 
2012-08-02 12:35:44 PM

carnifex2005: huckfarley: Clara Hughes of Canada needs to be way up on this list. Medals in both summer and winter Olympics.
Incredible athlete.

I agree. She ended up 5th in this years time trial... at age 39.


while competing with a broken back suffered in May... Link
 
2012-08-02 12:50:35 PM

IAmRight: Super Chronic: When you have a whole bunch of games to play and only one medal at the end, chances are you've also had a chance to rely on your teammates and coast against the weaker competition at times.

Sort of like how Lezak won Phelps one of his medals?


Having a relay teammate whose split is faster than yours is not the same thing as coasting in an 11-player or 5-player sport with substitutions. Phelps more than carried his weight in that one.
 
2012-08-02 12:57:36 PM

paswa17: Plus, many of the best runners also compete in long jump, triple jump, decathalon...


No, they don't. Very few athletes do what Carl Lewis/Marion Jones did in the jumps. Even fewer compete in the multi-events then go on to compete in individual events.
 
2012-08-02 12:59:51 PM

Dear Jerk: For a single Olympics, it's Spitz. Seven events, seven golds, seven world records.


The 200 meter and longer races did not have semifinals during the 1972 Montreal Olympics. They did in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Phelps had to swim 17 races for his 8 gold medals while Spitz only had to swim 13. And Phelps came within a hair of getting that 8th world record (and later broke it anyway). Plus, the competition Spitz faced only really pressed him in one race whereas Phelps had to come out on top in three close races.
 
2012-08-02 01:06:47 PM

drsmith: 6. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, USA, Track and Field
Olympics: 1984-1996
Medals: 6 (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)

Someone failed to qualify for the counting competition. They mention #7 had one taken away but nothing in regards to JJ-K


Came to see if anyone else saw that...

What about Al Oerter? He was only a discus thrower but he won his event in 4 consecutive Olympics.
 
2012-08-02 01:25:28 PM

paswa17: Ishkur: You don't see any medals handed out for backwards running or crabwalking, do you?

Swimming:
6 regular distances (50m, 100, 200, 400, 1500, 10000/marathon)
3 relays
8 specialty strokes/distances (100/200 breast, 100/200 back, 100/200 fly, 200/400 IM)
There is no chance to compete in any other events.

Running:
8 regular distances (100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 5000, 10000, marathon)
2 relays
5 specialty events/distances (100/400 hurdle, steeplechase, 20k/50k racewalk)
Plus, many of the best runners also compete in long jump, triple jump, decathalon...

Doesn't seem uneven to me.


Runners can double the 200 with the 100 or 400 (and very few can do this) and one of the relays (I cannot recall the last time a 100m runner was on the 4x400 or a 400m runner on the 4x1). They can also double the 5000 with the 1500 or 10k (depending on the schedule). Very rarely, but possible is the 10k/marathon double.

Nobody doubles up the racewalks, steeple, or 800 with anything. I cannot remember the last person to double the hurdles with a relay (but slightly feasible).

A multi will not qualify in any single event (though I think Eaton is actually world class at long jump).

Field events are incredibly speicalized; at this point it is rare to find someone who does long and triple jump at a world class level.

I'd be fine with eliminating the 200m dash, that is what creates the most overlap in track.

But swimming constantly has the same people in 4 or 5 in the finals at every Olympic. It is not just one super athlete having a broad range - it is every world class swimmer having that range.
 
2012-08-02 01:26:38 PM
lebron james should be number one.
 
2012-08-02 01:50:57 PM

paswa17: Swimming:
6 regular distances (50m, 100, 200, 400, 1500, 10000/marathon)
3 relays
8 specialty strokes/distances (100/200 breast, 100/200 back, 100/200 fly, 200/400 IM)
There is no chance to compete in any other events.

Running:
8 regular distances (100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 5000, 10000, marathon)
2 relays
5 specialty events/distances (100/400 hurdle, steeplechase, 20k/50k racewalk)
Plus, many of the best runners also compete in long jump, triple jump, decathalon...

Doesn't seem uneven to me.



Your fallacy is equating distance events with sprint events. They are two entirely different disciplines requiring different training, fitness and body type. Usain Bolt is not going to run the marathon. No Ethiopian race-walking guru is going to be in the 100m sprint. It's dishonest to say that anyone has the reasonable ability to win both just because they both require using your legs.

So if you want to look at JUST sprinters, someone like Bolt has a reasonable chance (if he wanted to train for them) at anything 400m and less, which makes him eligible for 5 events including 2 relays. 7 if you include hurdles. 10 if he wants to try his hand at some jumps (even though that would be next to impossible as triple, long and high all require years of training and practice).

Whereas Michael Phelps has a reasonable chance at anything 200m or less (but he could go up to 400m if he wants), which makes him eligible for 13 events including 3 relays. 15 if you include 400m. The only reason why he doesn't go for that many is scheduling and the toll it puts on his body. He would literally be swimming 5 or 6 times a day for a whole week. He'd barely have time to rest between races or even eat. 8 is probably the maximum that any swimming god could put on his plate.
 
2012-08-02 02:44:24 PM

Ishkur: paswa17: Swimming:
6 regular distances (50m, 100, 200, 400, 1500, 10000/marathon)
3 relays
8 specialty strokes/distances (100/200 breast, 100/200 back, 100/200 fly, 200/400 IM)
There is no chance to compete in any other events.

Running:
8 regular distances (100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 5000, 10000, marathon)
2 relays
5 specialty events/distances (100/400 hurdle, steeplechase, 20k/50k racewalk)
Plus, many of the best runners also compete in long jump, triple jump, decathalon...

Doesn't seem uneven to me.


Your fallacy is equating distance events with sprint events. They are two entirely different disciplines requiring different training, fitness and body type. Usain Bolt is not going to run the marathon. No Ethiopian race-walking guru is going to be in the 100m sprint. It's dishonest to say that anyone has the reasonable ability to win both just because they both require using your legs.

So if you want to look at JUST sprinters, someone like Bolt has a reasonable chance (if he wanted to train for them) at anything 400m and less, which makes him eligible for 5 events including 2 relays. 7 if you include hurdles. 10 if he wants to try his hand at some jumps (even though that would be next to impossible as triple, long and high all require years of training and practice).

Whereas Michael Phelps has a reasonable chance at anything 200m or less (but he could go up to 400m if he wants), which makes him eligible for 13 events including 3 relays. 15 if you include 400m. The only reason why he doesn't go for that many is scheduling and the toll it puts on his body. He would literally be swimming 5 or 6 times a day for a whole week. He'd barely have time to rest between races or even eat. 8 is probably the maximum that any swimming god could put on his plate.


Heh. That was pretty good. A little long in the teeth, but overall effort made it a fun read.

/obviously backstroke and breast stroke take the same skills
//everyone can see that
///they both include water
 
2012-08-02 02:56:19 PM
no Bruce Kardashian?
 
2012-08-02 02:59:49 PM

Ishkur: Your fallacy is equating distance events with sprint events. They are two entirely different disciplines requiring different training, fitness and body type. Usain Bolt is not going to run the marathon. No Ethiopian race-walking guru is going to be in the 100m sprint. It's dishonest to say that anyone has the reasonable ability to win both just because they both require using your legs.

So if you want to look at JUST sprinters, someone like Bolt has a reasonable chance (if he wanted to train for them) at anything 400m and less, which makes him eligible for 5 events including 2 relays. 7 if you include hurdles. 10 if he wants to try his hand at some jumps (even though that would be next to impossible as triple, long and high all require years of training and practice).

Whereas Michael Phelps has a reasonable chance at anything 200m or less (but he could go up to 400m if he wants), which makes him eligible for 13 events including 3 relays. 15 if you include 400m. The only reason why he doesn't go for that many is scheduling and the toll it puts on his body. He would literally be swimming 5 or 6 times a day for a whole week. He'd barely have time to rest between races or even eat. 8 is probably the maximum that any swimming god could put on his plate.


I won't contest I was using false logic - but I wanted to point out it doesn't look too far off on paper.

Swimming is a lot like running where there are sprint and distance specialists. Phelps isn't going to swim the 10k (marathon swim, over 2 hours) just like Bolt won't run the marathon.

I agree that 8 is the absolute max amount of events a swimmer can compete in - but its not because of schedule, its because swimmers have specialties too and you never see somebody be the top swimmer in more than two strokes - even then it is usually freestyle and either butterfly (like Phelps) or backstroke (like Lochte).
 
2012-08-02 03:01:16 PM
Yeah, no. Your list is biased shiat without this man: Link

/13 years of total domination
 
2012-08-02 03:16:08 PM

IAmRight: Wilbon's article was better.

/Canadian chick who won medals in bicycling (Summer) and speed skating (Winter) Games is pretty epic
//as is 6 years without so much as giving up a point in wrestling
///of course the list is going to be USA-heavy, go and look at medal counts for Olympics over the last century and note the team at the top in pretty much all of 'em


12 out of 27 Summer Olympics.

One Winter Olympics.

This isn't defense spending. The USA has won slightly over 15% of all medals awarded. Per Olympics, the Soviet Union is way ahead.
 
2012-08-02 03:20:17 PM

Moopy Mac: IAmRight: Wilbon's article was better.

/Canadian chick who won medals in bicycling (Summer) and speed skating (Winter) Games is pretty epic
//as is 6 years without so much as giving up a point in wrestling
///of course the list is going to be USA-heavy, go and look at medal counts for Olympics over the last century and note the team at the top in pretty much all of 'em

12 out of 27 Summer Olympics.

One Winter Olympics.

This isn't defense spending. The USA has won slightly over 15% of all medals awarded*. Per Olympics, the Soviet Union is way ahead.


Summer Olympics only it is slightly over 17%.

USSR averaged about 112 medals per Summer Games, the USA is at 91.

The USSR also has the two highest medal counts in non-boycotted Olympics (not counting the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis).
 
2012-08-02 03:34:31 PM

JohnBigBootay: Serious Black: I'd say the competition is between Carl Lewis, Aleksandr Karelin, and Michael Phelps for GOAT. At that point, it's apples, oranges, and grapefruits.

Am I crazy or has carl lewis not fail multiple drug tests?


Yeah but Phelps is obvious doping to do so well, so it evens out.

/well it works for diminishing any non-US athlete that does well regardless of any evidence, so turnabout is fair play
 
Displayed 50 of 66 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report