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How hard is it to win an OLYMPIC GOLD in Swimming? Let alone Michael Phelps’ 22 gold medals.

<span style="font-family: helvetica, Cheap Jordans arial, sans-serif;”>By now, you’d probably realized that Michael Phelps yet again won another gold, his 22nd overall over the past 4 Olympic Games. Many are calling him the greatest of all time, but to better appreciate his extraordinary feat, let me share some facts that would probably cement his case as the greatest of ALL TIME.

Prelims – Semis – Finals

In swimming, every event goes through a preliminary round, then the top 16 qualifies for the semis, and the top 8 moves on to the finals. Let alone, the 400 Individual Medley, which only has a prelims and a finals since it’s a longer event. So far, Phelps has participated in 17 individual events over the past 4 Olympics, save for tomorrow’s 100 fly, 13/16 of those were gold. If you do the math, Phelps discount oakley has swum a total of 45 races in those 16 individual events. In the Olympics, every swim counts. It doesn’t matter if you’re the fastest in the prelims or the semis, what counts is your clutch fast swim in the finals. For some reason, Phelps always finds a way to swim his best when he needs it the most – during the finals. In fact, a lot of top ranked swimmers have constantly wavered under pressure. Favorites coming into their pet events, they perform wonderfully during the prelims and semis, only to fall short in the finals and fail to win gold. In short, it takes three PERFECT or near perfect swims to come out with an Olympic Gold. But Phelps has been on a league on his own performing when the GOLD is on the line, not to mention that his busy Olympic program always has finals and semis together in one session, which makes it extra difficult to prepare. Let’s not forget his unforgettable 100 finals in 2004 and 2008 wherein he won in a combined .05 of a second during those two races. Incredible.

If you add up the clutch relay swims of Phelps, then it just gets better.

 

 

Different Timezone, Different schedules

 

For swimmers, it is extra important to not soon: only work on your speed and endurance, but also your body clock as well. The last 5 Olympics have been cheap football jerseys held in Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London, and now, Rio. These 5 cities have a totally different timezone, which means that the schedules for the preliminaries and the finals are adjusted to fit the prime time airing in the US since swimming has been THE sport to watch during prime time. Adjusting to media schedules means that finals start at 10pm in Rio and ends after midnight, while prelims start in the afternoon at around 1pm. In Beijing, however, since it’s in the other side of the world, finals were during the morning, and prelims were during the night, a total opposite to the schedule this year. If you factor in jet lag, then you have a messed up body clock right here. Swimmers have a limited time to adjust their body clocks to make sure that they perform their best during the finals session; not the prelims. It’s easier said than done especially if your body is always used to training in the morning, then it would be hard to tell your body to be active during midnight – when you should be fast asleep. Not to mention, if you win a medal, you’ll have to undergo media interviews and random drug tests, which usually ends at 3am in the morning, so how many hours is left to recover, do therapy, and sleep? 

But then again, Phelps is Phelps, even with the changing time zones and schedules, he still manages to oakley womens sunglasses perform both his duties inside and outside the pool. Few people take note of this, but this actually plays a significant role in determining a swimmer’s performance.

 

 

Michael Phelps1

Phelps vs Le Clos Photo by Getty Images

 

Peaking at the right time and staying on TOP

One of the hardest things to do is to actually peak at the right time. There are a lot of competitions leading up to the Olympics that serve as qualifying meets. All of these are important and are prepared for by the swimmers and coaches.  Some swimmers peak during their respective Olympic Trials and underperform in the Olympics. Getting into the Olympics is already tough enough, so the level of consistency has to be perfection if a swimmer qualifies for the Olympics and wins Gold as well. Most especially in the US, where the Olympic trials is just a month before the Olympics and considering the level of competition in the US alone, the US Olympic trials is no walk in the park. But for Phelps, he has qualified for 5 straight Olympics, which has spanned over 20+ years of intense training and perfect timing.

But what separates Phelps from the rest is his ability to remain consistent and stay on top. Remember Milorad Cavic, Phelps’ rival in the butterfly in Beijing? He has since retired and has been replaced by Chad Le Clos. Not to mention all the other superstars that have retired from the sport. Some swimmers after winning their first gold medal call it a career and quit, so one of the things that Michael Phelps has is mental toughness and that ability to stay focused, motivated, and excited about swimming for the last 20+ years. Now, that is hardest to beat. How do you stay hungry if you already have it NFL Jerseys Cheap all? Well, Phelps has proven himself time and time again. Definitely, the Greatest of All-time. #GOAT.

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