Phelps v. Spitz: By the Numbers
Number of medals: Mr. Phelps exceeded Mr. Spitz’s seven by one, with two more men’s swimming golds available. He matched Mr. Spitz’s mark of seven world records.
Head to head: In their six common events, Mr. Spitz won by an average margin of 1.58%, compared to just 0.67% for Mr. Phelps. Mr. Spitz set world records in all six, by an average margin of 0.93% compared to the pre-Olympic records. Mr. Phelps set new marks in five of the six, for an average margin 0.75% faster than the previous standard.
Across all their events, Mr. Spitz’s average winning margin was 1.47%, compared to 0.86% for Mr. Phelps. Mr. Phelps’s new records exceeded the old by 0.7%, compared to 0.87% for Mr. Spitz.
Following in the churned-up wake of Eric Moussambani, the loveable loser who grabbed the attention of the world in the 100m swim at Sydney in 2000, Democratic Republic of Congo swimmer Stany Kempompo Ngangola will competed as a wildcard entrant in the 50m freestyle heats.
According to the official start list, his ranking time for his heat was an astonishingly slow 1min 15 secs.
In that time world record holder Eamon Sullivan could have finished his lap, climbed out of the pool, dried himself off and called Stephanie Rice to catch up on old times. American superstar Michael Phelps could have covered almost 150m of a 200m freestyle race and even the next lowest ranked swimmer in competition, Kareem Valentine of Antigua-Barbuda, could have completed a second lap.
Here’s Phelps’s typical menu. (No, he doesn’t choose among these options. He eats them all, according to the Post.)
Breakfast: Three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise. Two cups of coffee. One five-egg omelet. One bowl of grits. Three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar. Three chocolate-chip pancakes.
Lunch: One pound of enriched pasta. Two large ham and cheese sandwiches with mayo on white bread. Energy drinks packing 1,000 calories.
Dinner: One pound of pasta. An entire pizza. More energy drinks.
Dara Torres booked her place on a fifth Olympic team at the age of 41, after an unlikely triumph in the women’s 100m freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Nebraska.
Torres — who competed in her first Games at Los Angeles in 1984 — swam in Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992 before retiring, then came back to earn a spot on the team for the 2000 Sydney Games — where she won five of her nine career Olympic medals.
“I’m shocked,” said Torres. “I don’t think it’s hit me yet that I made my fifth Olympic team.”
It is not the first time Torres has come out of retirement to earn an Olympic berth. This time she comes back as a mother, and she carried her two-year-old daughter, Tessa, in her arms on an emotional victory walk around the pool on Friday night. More.
It would be six if she had gone to Atlanta! Know of any other great Olympians – please comment here.