Having earned eight gold medals in Beijing and 14 total golds over two Games, we are asking whether super swimmer Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all-time. Some are answering that question with a resounding yes! But I say – what difference does it make? Why do we have to say he’s the best? Why do we have to say anyone is the best?
The fact is Michael Phelps gave America and the world an unforgettable series of races and experiences, shouldn’t that be enough? We don’t need to ask whether Michael Phelps is really better than Jesse Owens or whether he is better than Carl Lewis or any other great Olympian.
But we ask because we are a nation obsessed with ultimate achievement and winner-take- all. The cost though is that we fail to give due credit to both past and present achievements.
We need to simply appreciate what we are seeing, feeling and experiencing. Sports and the athletes that entertain us are a joy to behold.
But we also need to maintain room for the sports joys of our pasts and the legends we watched years ago.
So remember there is a place for all of our heroes and their accomplishments past and present. Michael Phelps join the crowd.