Michael Phelps wins first gold of Beijing Olympics … There is another Wheaties box in his very near future.
There have almost become three certainties in life … death, taxes and Michael Phelps winning Olympic gold in the pool. In Phelps’ first race of the Beijing Olympics, the 400 meter individual medley, he did not disappoint. In fact, Michael Phelps not only won gold but also set a new world record at 4 minutes, 3.84 seconds.
With President Bush cheering him on, Phelps dominated his first event of the Beijing Olympics on Sunday morning, crushing his own world record and all hopes of his challengers with a mark of 4 minutes, 3.84 seconds in the 400-meter individual medley.
What separates true champions from the rest? With all the pressure and expectations to win, Phelps made it look so relaxed and easy.
Michael Phelps will be challenging Mark Spitz record of 7 gold medals from the 1972 Olympics. He has 1 down and 7 more races to go in Beijing. With Phelps being such an accomplished swimmer one would think that much of what he does is routine. Many athletes become training machines focusing only on victory. Not Phelps. Isn’t it refreshing to see an Olympic athlete be moved by the experience and for the love of the honor and country of representing the USA.
Phelps touched the wall and spun around so quickly to see his time that he bumped his head on the wall. He pumped both arms in the air, and quickly spotted his mother and two sisters in the massive stands at the Water Cube.
He then looked the other way, where Bush was waving his American flag, accompanied by the first lady, their daughter Barbara and his father, former President George H. W. Bush.
“I looked up and he waved the flag and nodded his head,” Phelps said. “That was a pretty cool feeling to have the president say congratulations and have him in the crowd.”
On the medal stand, Phelps’ eyes watered as the U.S. flag was raised to the rafters. The only glitch came during the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” which cut off a few seconds before the end, cracking up Phelps.