www.whyville.net Aug 24, 2008 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Michael Phelps: Olympic God

Users' Rating
Rate this article

Michael Fred Phelps II, also known as the Flying Fish, was born June 30, 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland to Fred and Debbie Phelps. His father works for the Maryland State Police, and his mother is a middle school principal. His parents got a divorce about 15 years ago in 1993, and although Michael stayed close to his mother the same can't be said for his father. After walking out on his family, he gave Debbie full custody and refuses to watch an Olympic game from any place but his television set. After being asked why he didn't attend the games, Fred says, "This is just about Michael. This is his glory, his time to shine, and I want him to get everything he wants."

Michael's older sisters, Whitney and Hilary, played a large role in raising Michael after their father left. Fred was hardly present in their lives after the divorce, and it seems that despite the reconciliation he had with his kids a few years ago, he has drifted from their lives once again.

As a young kid Michael was diagnosed with ADHD, which is Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. At the age of 7 he began swimming as an outlet to release energy, and he excelled at it.

For those of you that don't follow the Olympics, Michael Phelps swam for the U.S. team. He became the youngest American swimmer to compete in the Olympics at the age of 15 in the year 2000. At that time, he placed fifth in the 200 M butterfly with a time of 01:56.50.

Since then, he has improved dramatically. This year he made history in the Beijing Olympic Games by becoming the first athlete to take home 8 gold medals at a single Olympics. Mark Spitz, who held the record for nearly 40 years, had taken home 7 gold medals.

Overall, Michael Phelps has won 16 Olympic medals ranking him second for total career Olympic medals. Larissa Latynina currently holds the record with a total of 18 medals, nine of which were gold. With this swimmer anything is possible, and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if he were to eventually take first.

Michael currently stands at 6'4" and weighs 195 lbs. Each day he swims a minimum of 5 hours and consumes 12,000-14,000 calories to maintain his swimmer physique and metabolism. That is 9,500 more calories than the recommended amount for an active male. He told NBC that the food he eats in a typical day includes:

Breakfast: 3 fried egg sandwiches, 2 cups of coffee, 5 egg omelettes, a bowl of grits, 3 pieces of french toast, and 3 chocolate chip pancakes.

Lunch: 1 pound of pasta, 2 ham and cheese sandwiches, and an energy drink.

Dinner: 1 pound of pasta, 1 large pizza, and an energy drink.

Is this even possible? After reciting his daily food intake he tells an interviewer, "I eat pretty much whatever I want. I don't have a strict diet. It's all about cramming in as many calories into my system as I possibly can. To be honest with you, I have a tough time keeping weight on."

To be honest with you, I don't know if I should be feeling jealous or nauseous.

Lastly, Michael attends the University of Michigan which means he has intelligence as well as a remarkable athletic ability. The secret behind the speed at which Michael swims could be the size of his feet. He wears a size 14 shoe.

Thanks to Phelps' new popularity, he is said to be taking home $40-100 million this year in endorsements alone. Apparently money isn't what's important to him, which is refreshing yet a tad unbelievable. "It's not about the money. I love what I do. The one thing I'm really looking forward to doing is raising the bar in the sport of swimming and promoting it, to get new faces involved in the sport." True, but I doubt the money hurts either.


Author's Note: Sources:


Did you like this article?
1 Star = Bleh.5 Stars = Props!
Rate it!
Ymail this article to a friend.
Discuss this article in the Forums.

  Back to front page