Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympic Mythology

I could do a post with the history of the Olympics from a mythology viewpoint...but I'm not. There are two reasons. First, most of us already know that Hercules started the first Olympics and that it gets its name from Mt. Olympus, where Hercules held the games to honor the gods. The second reason is I'm tired (and lazy). When I came back from vacation, I was beat and since my summer was coming to a close, I worked as hard as I could to finish all summer projects. Now my deck is finished (did it myself) and my wife and I sat up late tiling the kitchen wall. I didn't want to keep neglecting the blog here, so I did a quick search on Google news for mythology.

What I found was an article from the Delco Times about Micheal Phelps. The guy is amazing and if you have not been watching the Olympics, you've missed out. The article compared his water control ability to Poseidon's. At any minute we can expect swift retribution against the writer. As we all know from mythology, nobody's life is worth much after you compare a mere mortal to a god. It also stated in the article that Phelps should be considered the 13th Olympian. So we have a nice little mythology allusion going on there.

For those of you that have been living under a rock, Phelp's big deal is that he won seven gold medals in this Olympics. One of his first ones was in a dynamite relay where the anchor really poured it on to come from behind and beat the French (a nice touch after they talked trash to the newspapers about how they were going to smash the Americans). The big number 7 was last night where he came from behind and out touched a guy by one one hundredth of a second. Being a former swimmer and current swim coach, it has been great watching him perform these feats.

The news article went on to point out that only one other person has done this - Mark Spitz. Spitz has always been the top dog to me and all other swimmers when I was growing up. The tying of this record (and the possible breaking of it tonight) is something that was pretty much considered impossible. One other guy tried a few Olympics back and (only) got seven medals - not all gold. The media made a big deal about this guy (Matt Biondi) at the, but when he didn't get all gold, they dropped him. The media goes on about Phelps - and he truly is amazing, but everyone has forgotten one thing. Spitz's record may be tied, but he still has one thing Phelps has not done. When Spitz got his seven gold medals, he also set seven world records doing it. Phelps (slacker that he is) only got six. :)


Anonymous said...

8 golds to Phelps now

Mark Alford said...

Yep! And seven world records. Now he has passed Mark Spitz. Did you see the guy win the track 100 meter dash? Who has time to look around and ham it up before crossing the finish line??? I am torn between WOW and That was a bit too cocky.