Of all the potential threats to Michael Phelps‘ swimming dominance, a teenage swimmer from the Seychelles probably ranks somewhere below “low-calorie diet” and “broken goggles.” But Dwayne Benjamin Didon thinks that Michael Phelps and the rest of the world should get ready for him to dominate the 2012 Summer Games in London.
He may only be 13, but he appears to have the hubris of a French swimmer twice his age, if his comments to the AP are any indication:
Would Didon like to try and win eight golds like Phelps is aiming for at these games?
“No, I want to be better than him for the 2012 Olympics in London,” Didon said in a serious tone.
Didon is the youngest swimmer in the Olympics, having competed in the 50 free. In case you think Didon is a child prodigy, perhaps the Seychelles’ own swimming version of Tiger Woods, keep in mind that he made it to the Olympics thanks to a program that lets each country send at least two swimmers, even if they don’t meet the Olympic qualifying standards. For comparison, Didon’s time of 28.95 is more than four and a half seconds slower than the Southern California record for his age group.
Part of me admires Didon’s youthful braggadocio. The kid has a dream, and he clearly thinks he can accomplish it. And he just learned to swim four years ago. Plus, he finished ahead of 12 other swimmers, and I’d probably put my money on him versus Chad Johnson in a match race.