I was pacing in front of my TV while holding my new born baby and screaming at the top of my lungs as Jason Lezak held off his Australian competitor in the 4x100m Medley Relay.
Once it was final, I sat down and quietly pondered what I’d just witnessed.
Michael Phelps is now the most decorated Olympian ever. At just 23 years old, Phelps has won 14 gold medals overall – 8 in this Olympics alone. He’s also smashed just about every world record in his path. And, while I am probably a little biased as an American, I think he’s done it with tremendous class and humility.
Others in his sport, like his old nemesis Ian Thorpe from Australia, made it clear that they didn’t think 8 gold medals could be won by one person.
Serbia’s Milorad Cavic, one of his present day rivals, said he thought it would be good for the sport if Phelps lost at least one race (I’m assuming he meant the 100m butterfly where Phelps beat Cavic by one-hundredth of a second).
None of this mattered. Phelps would not be denied.
It’s just hard to fathom how one person can accomplish so much over the course of 9 days and 17 swims. It’s also unbelievably inspiring for me personally.
What I’ve Learned
There are so many things to learn from something like this. The most obvious things are that we must prepare, work hard, and believe in ourselves.
Some of the other things I’ve taken away are to not let others make you angry when they “do you wrong.” Instead, if we can take that potentially negative situation and channel it positively we will be much better off. This is exactly what Phelps seems to do.
What about you?
What have you taken away from watching Michael Phelps make history? And if you watched the final race yesterday what were you thinking? Was you heart pounding with excitement? Mine sure was.
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