Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt Are Not of This Earth
Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt are two of the most accomplished Olympians in history, performing the seemingly impossible.
After retiring following the 2012 London Games, Phelps seemed like a rudderless ship until he decided to attempt a comeback with the goal of returning to the Olympics one more time. But how would he perform in what was to be his fifth Olympic Games, and at the age of 31?
The answer was, pretty much the way he’s performed in the others. Phelps was in six events, three relays and three solo events. He won five golds and a silver. That gave him a staggering 28 medals for his career, including a mind boggling 23 gold, plus three silver and two bronze. He actually won those in just four Olympics; he was in one event in the 2000 Games at age 15 and did not medal. He was already the lifetime leader in total medals after the London Games, breaking the previous record of 18 set by then Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina in 1956-1964.
We believe that Phelps thought he was ready, or should, retire after London, but deep down he wasn’t ready. Swimming was such a big part of his life, that he was adrift without it. Plus he has said he didn’t feel he had trained well enough for the 2012 Games and should have done better (although he won four golds and two silvers at those games, plus one fourth place finish). He says now he’s happy with his comeback, and with a fiancé and baby, he’s ready to move on in his life. We’re sure he’ll stay active in swimming to some degree as a coach or commentator or something (we’re sure NBC is already trying to figure out how to get him to be a swimming analyst for the 2020 Tokyo games). We won’t be seeing anything like him again, there’s just no way an individual is going to win 28 Olympic medals again.
Then there’s Usain Bolt. All he did was win the men’s 100 meters for the third time. No one has ever done that.
Bolt also competes in the 200 meters and 4 X 100 relay. He’s done that in the two previous Olympics as well, and has won gold in those event each time as well, and will be going for the gold this time around as well. Bolt says he’s retiring after these games, and could very well hang it up with nine golds in nine events for his career, which would include winning both the 100 and 200 three times. Bolt is the only man to win the 200 twice, and no one has won it three times.