Michael Phelps … skill … determination … dedication and a little divine intervention.
By on .01 seconds Michael Phelps won the 100 meter butterfly and has tied Mark Spitz record of 7 gold medals in one Olympic Games. It was the difference between the decision to take one final stroke or stride to the wall. When the race was over and Phelps had won that elusive 7th gold medal, he showed the passion of a champion.
After 3,200 meters and 16 races, Michael Phelps’s pursuit of Mark Spitz came down to a single stroke. With five meters to go in the 100-meter butterfly final Saturday morning, Phelps realized he had misjudged the finish.
He had two choices: glide to the wall, kicking like crazy, or take an extra, awkward half-stroke. To his left, Milorad Cavic was having the race of his life. Phelps, who was seventh at the turn, had no room for error.
The photo-finish that put Michael Phelps into Olympic lore.
In fact, Cavic had more than a half- body lead, but that soon evaporated. Phelps picked off one swimmer after another, until he caught Cavic at the wall. Phelps thought he had lost. “I actually did,” he said later. “When I did chop the last stroke, I thought that cost me the race, but it was actually the opposite. If I had glided, I would have been way too long. I took short, faster strokes to try to get my hand on the wall. I ended up making the right decision.
UPDATE I: Phelps’ golden touch: Did the big clock lie? ; Phelps’ 7th gold drips with controversy: Did he really beat Cavic to wall?
With any close race comes those that wish to create a conspiracy. However, anyone who has been watching these games knows that there is no bias for American athletes in the Olympics. If anything it is just the opposite. Ask the American female gymnasts, Nastia Liuken and Shawn Johnson, in the All Around competition who had to not only beat the Chinese gymnast and others, but also some extremely questionable scoring on behalf of the judges.
UPDATE II: FINA throws out protest against Phelps
Serbia protests finish stating their swimmer Milorad Cavic finished ahead of Michael Phelps; however, did not touch the wall hard enough to trigger the sensor. That’s a rather lame reason and FINA thought as well as they threw the protest out. The fact of the matter is, Cavic thought he was closer to the wall when he made his final stride and Phelps powered his was to the end.
Serbia lodged the protest, saying second-placed Milorad Cavic had actually finished first but had failed to touch the wall with enough force to trigger the timing sensor.
But at a press conference in Beijing, FINA said it was convinced that Phelps, who trailed Cavic until the touch, had hit the wall ahead of the Serb.
Milorad Cavic stated after the 100m butterfly that, “Is Michael Phelps the winner of the gold medal? I think if we got to do it again, I would win it.” Maybe these swimmers challenging Phelps should learn to keep their mouths shut as all they have done is further inspire Phelps to win.
Phelps said he was also inspired by some choice words by his long-time coach Bob Brown.
“Beforehand Bob said it would be good for the sport of swimming if I lost,” Phelps told Channel Seven.
“When Bob told me that I was pretty fired up, when someone says something it makes me more excited and more ready to go.”