The Sway Of Michael Phelps: Influence On Attention, Opposition & Teammates

Michael Phelps, courtesy of USA Swimming

There mere presence of Michael Phelps is an influential factor in the sport, and we’ll see that influence again in this Olympic year.

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There mere presence of Michael Phelps is an influential factor in the sport, and we’ll see that influence again in this Olympic year.



I still rate his 2007 Melbourne performances as his peak.
He didn’t break as many golds or as many WRs (100 fly eluded him), but..
– He could have won the same 8 golds in Melbourne if not for the prelims relay DQ.
– he wore LZR in Beijing, whose extra boost is hard to measure in getting those WRs.

And for me, the one record that defines him is that 1:52.09 in Melbourne.
In addition, him breaking Thorpe’s legendary 200 free WR was truly unexpected where he unleashed the best and most powerful example of the fifth stroke.

It is interesting to note that everyone seems to note that Phelps is happier.
That’s very important, however I wonder he still maintains his drive and laser focused preparations.
You know, artists produced their finest works when they are hungry, not when they are sated 🙂

Although Phelps is different, he is still chasing some records which admittedly only a few left. The swimming four peat. Latynina’s individual medals. All of which look very doable today.

I just hope the midnight swimming doesn’t really impact at all on everyone’s swimming


Aswimfan, Phelps has himself stated that 2007 was his best.

Ahmad TAufik

phelps’s 2009 performance i think better than his 2008 performance, his 100 & 200 butterfly times better than 2008 times though he wore same suit (LZR Racer).
If he wore Arena X glide/ jaked in 2009 worlds, i thing his 100 & 200 fly WR will stood for more than 20 years.
As for Laszlo, he has a badluck to live in same era and same even with phelps.
If there’s no michael phelps, laszlo will get 3 gold medals in beijing


Here’s one for you. In the 6 major clashes of Phelps-Lochte 200 IM (Olympics 04,08,12; Worlds 05;07;11), Lochte has had the 200 Back before the IM 4 times, losing to Phelps every time. The other 2, in 2007, 2011, are 1:1 (Lochte coming 2nd in Melbourne 07, and winning in Shanghai). Lochte is the WR holder.

If he is freed from the shackles of the 200 Back, will Lochte beat Phelps in the little IM?

I remember watching Lochte lose 200Back in London, then swim down on his own in the diving pit, somehow needing to recover from that loss and come out to face Phelps. Big ask.
I would love to see Lochte win 400IM; Phelps take 100 Fly, 200IM (WR), and Cseh win 200Fly. That man deserves a mdeal.

[Note that in 05 Phelps had swum 100Free final just before the 200IM, which he still won]. Hope all those stats are right.


Yeah, I kept mentioning during 2012 US trials that Lochte would win neither 200 back and IM in London.

2011 was the perfect schedule for Lochte.

A question, has Phelps ever won 2 individual finals on the same night? I don’t think he has, but I could be wrong.

Has there been a swimmer who won two individual events on the same night/session in olympics/worlds?

Ric Ortiz

Hi, aswimfan. Even though steroids were a major factor, back in 1976, Kornelia Ender won the 100 fly and 200 free within 30 minutes of each other both in WR time.

Craig Lord

“Even though” very big words, Ric…

Ric Ortiz

Amen to that, Craig.


So if I understand you correctly aswimfan, you’re saying that Phelps should do the 200Back and 200IM and rub Lochte’s little face in it 😉

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