Michael Phelps is a man of many talents. He’s the fastest swimmer ever. He hangs around with girls whose shirts can’t stay on. He takes bong rips with superhuman efficiency. Let’s add “children’s author” to that list, because hey, why not?
Yes, that’s actually a book that’s called How to Train with a T. Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals. We’re not scare-mongering; this is really happening. From the book’s page on AMAZON.COM, a most helpful description of what the hell the book is about:
What does it take to win eight gold medals?
Napping away three summer vacations?
Eating enough broccoli to fill the back of a pickup truck?
Swimming the length of the Great Wall of China three times?
That’s it. That’s the whole description. Oh, did we say “helpful”? That’s not at all what we meant. We meant the opposite.
It appears to be an effort of the Michael Phelps Foundation, which basically encourages kids not to become obese. In addition, it seems to be rather transparent self-congratulation, couched as “if you work hard this could happen!” It’s totally unrealistic, of course, and perhaps the wrong standard by which to judge success.
Phelps’ run was without precedent. It may never happen again. Most people aren’t even genetically capable of so much as qualifying for the Olympics. So why is Phelps’ Olympic record the “carrot” here?
Maybe we’re overthinking this, though. Phelps earned the right to celebrate and make a few bucks off his name, plus children need heroes and he’s a good one (yes, pot, but in case you forgot who the President is, um…). The book still looks weird.