Last summer, when Michael Phelps dominated the news from the 2008 Beijing Olympics with his record 8 gold medals, who would have possibly guessed that he would still be a celebrity today? In our 24-hour news cycle world, celebrities are made and forgotten seemingly overnight, and really, who cares about competitive swimming, anyways?
Yet, here we are in 2009 still talking about Phelps, and for good reason. Even apart from his escapades on dry land, the guy’s fun to follow and dominant in ways you only see in people like Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan. Yesterday, in a rematch of his amazing come-from-behind gold medal butterfly performance, he once again surged from behind to beat Milorad Cavic to win the 100m butterfly world championship.
Even more impressive than coming from behind at all was the fact Phelps had to do it wearing a far-inferior suit. Cavic was wearing one of the super polyurethane suits, and Phelps wasn’t happy about it.. After the race, he triumphantly popped his suit’s Speedo logo. As for the budding rivalry between the two top swimmers:
A major rivalry between the pair is now burgeoning.
“It’s almost literally like a straight showdown, like boxers going face to face at the weigh in,” Phelps said.
“It’s kind of cool for the sport. I have a feeling this battle is going to go back and forth for a while.”
Cavic, wearing a soon-to-be banned Arena suit deemed quicker than Phelps’ Speedo, added: “When I hit the 50 he was much closer than I expected.
“Michael Phelps is Michael Phelps. He does what he does and he did.”
If this keeps up, Michael Phelps won’t be going away from the public scene for a while. Even if you’re like us and felt a bit of Phelps overexposure over the past year, that’s exciting news.