Being Mortal – Michael Phelps

The New York Times has an interesting piece today in the print edition (P B12) on how the 8-medal Olympic champion Michael Phelps is coping with life outside the pool, particularly after a photo of the swimmer holding a marijuana pipe was published recently.

Here’s an excerpt from the online edition:

Swimming would not be the hard part for Phelps. Negotiating his way on land with only his wits to guide him would be more difficult.

For nearly 12 years, Phelps had been hermetically protected from the outside world. From his heart rate to his social activities, nothing went unmonitored.

“I had this monster goal and I achieved it,” Phelps said last week. “To be able to do what I did, my life growing up had to be how it was.”

The blueprint for becoming the most well-rounded swimmer in history turned out to have a built-in flaw. It made Phelps one-dimensional, someone who by his own admission is lost without the structure of his sport.

The piece by Karen Crouse ends with the interesting point that the brilliant masterplan to create the world champion was lacking in one respect: ‘there was no provision for Michael’s being mortal.’

3 Responses to "Being Mortal – Michael Phelps"

  1. kelambu_kaathu   May 14, 2009 at 2:35 am

    I din’t understand this. Did you mean to say that Phelps has some deadly disease or just that he dopes outside swimming? Responds:

    1. Even great characters have feet of clay.

    2. Great achievements extract a toll.

  2. kelambu_kaathu   May 14, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Yeah now i get it! I’m confused as to whether I should pity him for the way he lives or admire him for his achievements.

  3. kelambu_kaathu   May 14, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Great post BTW!!

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