One day after a disappointing 4th place finish Michael Phelps has earned an incredible 17th Olympic medal.
The 4×100 Men’s Freestyle final featured the favorites representing Australia, France, and the defending Olympic gold medalist team from the USA. This same event in 2008 provided the fireworks that added to the lore of the medal run by Phelps. France’s Alain Bernard, pictured here in this fictional represenation,decided he would stoke the fire by promising a victory and ending Phelps chance at 8 gold medals.
He was only .08 wrong as America’s Jason Lezak swam a blistering 46.06 in the final leg to catch and surpass Bernard for victory. Phelps had been criticized as not being prepared for this Olympics, as if the Subway commercials and fame had taken it’s toll. Phelps is not an after thought, and will win a few medals in London, but this is supposed to be Ryan Lochte’s time to shine.
The finals squad was comprised of Phelps, Lochte, Cullen Jones, and Nathan Adrian. Lezak was left off the final team after anchoring the USA squad in the heat round. The team determined that Lochte would anchor the finals with Phelps swimming second. The Americans took a commanding lead with Adrian and Phelps pushing them out to a 7 tenths of a second lead over the French. Then something went wrong! Cullen Jones entered the pool and was beat in his leg, same as in ’08, but this time instead of losing a full second he only gave up .2. Entering the anchor leg, Ryan Lochte had a half second lead with a gold medal on the line. He was not only beaten in his leg, but he was beaten by a full second! This gave the French the gold in an amazing comeback fashion, the same way they lost the gold only 4 years prior.
One of the greatest accomplishments of Michael Phelps in Beijing wasn’t that he won 8 gold medals, but that he was expected to do it and did! Ryan Lochte will win more gold but this was a defining moment that he allowed to slip through his hands and from the necks of his teammates.
Category: College Sports