Okay, I’ll agree with this. Partially. He was the high-profile athlete who had the most fun. And in a world of hypercompetitiveness, a (supposedly) low-tech happy guy from a country that is not a, you know, cold war powerhouse wins the biggest baddest races in record time.
It’s the whole torpedo thing: if you want to be The Best at anything, you will fail. Some other jerk will go all-out, sacrifice his life, maybe take performance-enhancing drugs, and defeat you, because you chose to, I don’t know, read a book sometimes, or grow a garden, or maybe have friends. So along with living a balanced life, you have to get into the mindset that not being The Best at anything is okay. The Olympics directly contradict that mindset: if you’re not #1, #2, or #3 (or in China, only #1), you’re a failure. I mean, Bolt would still be awesome if he got 16th in the 100m dash, just because he seems like a cool dude who’s enjoying what he’s doing. But nobody would have heard of him if he were 16th.
I don’t want to bash Phelps, though: good for him, bringing a sport like swimming into the spotlight. Oh, and eight gold medals is cool, I guess. But yeah! Usain Bolt. What a champ!
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