I’ll admit that when i first heard of Michael Phelps a few years back, my first impressions were cocky and arrogant. As Aussies, we are very protective of our swimmers and swimming, like all sports is full of good natured rivalry and a bit of sledging to throw the other team off.
After seeing interviews with Phelps in the subsequent years and in the lead up to Beijing and now over the 8 days of swimming competition, I have the utmost respect for the man. He has just become the most successful athlete at a single Olympic Games, EVER with 8 gold medals and the most decorated Olympian of all time with, I think, 12 Gold. The man is a machine, with an arm span 7 inches longer than his actual height and a surprising amount of modesty and respect for all his fellow competitors. I won’t say he’s not a little cocky or arrogant, but I don’t say it in a bad way. Every elite athlete has to be a bit selfish and full of themselves or they won’t achieve the greatness that Phelps has. Congratulations Michael and continued success!