Monday, August 18, 2008


I didn't expect so many to support me about the value of medals.
See this on the BBC There is now a big argument over Phelps incredible performance. He is undoubtedly the greatest swimmer and most successful medal winner but he is not the greatest Olympian. I can go into the reasons why it is impossible for an athlete to accumulate so many medals but most people understand this already. But the most important is that of physiology. An athlete uses the large muscles of the legs to run together with quite an input from his arms and upper body.This means that he has to have a higher VO2 max than a swimmer in the long distances and takes longer to recover and in the short sprints goes into oxygen debt much quicker.A piano player can practice all day without getting into a sweat because he uses such small muscles and a swimmer really only uses his arms which are small muscles compared to legs.

Then there is the problem of injury. Swimmers seldom pull muscles. When last did a swimmer pull a hamstring? You can also see how rowers were devastated after their rowing events and cyclists having to be helped off their bikes because of being so exhausted. See the difference?

Now Emil Zatopek is one I can call a great Olympian. He won the 10000Metres at the London Olympics in 1948 and then incredibly won the 5000M, 10000M and then the Marathon in Helsinki in 1952. Yes he is one I can call the greatest, but there are others as well.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home