11 August 2016
American swimmer, Michael Phelps on Tuesday won his 21st Olympic gold medal at the ongoing Rio Olympics, reaffirming himself as the sport’s most dominant athlete and the most decorated Olympian of all time.
Michael Phelps has won a total of 25 medals at the Olympics. His 21st gold medal is more than the total a country like Jamaica that dominates track and field events at the Olympics has managed as a nation in their time at the Games.
Though there exists or existed dominant athletes in other sports – like Tiger Woods (Golf) Floyd Mayweather (Boxing) – none of them has been as dominant as Phelps.
Going into a swimming race with Phelps, the winner is all but forgone as the most likely winner by a very high likelihood is Phelps.
One of the few rare cases of Phelps losing was at 2012 Olympics in London where he came second behind South Africa’s Chas Le Clos in the 200 metres butterfly race.
Phelps who apparently isn’t accustomed to losing going by his record kept a grudge with Le Clos for four years and made it a mission to beat Le Clos ones more before he calls it quit with swimming and he did in Rio, though in a time less than the time he clocked as second place in London. Time or no time, the point is he beat Clos who came fourth in Rio.
This kind of Phelps’ dominance in swimming could in particular be happening right now in football if not for the Messi vs. Ronaldo decade-old rivalry.
Imagine Messi and Ronaldo didn’t exist together in the same era, Messi for instance could currently be boasting of having won eight Ballon d’Or titles. Same applies to Ronaldo.
If one existed in this era without the other, he sure would hold more records than either of them currently does.
On the flip side, a few people argue that they are both this dominant because of the competition they pose to each other which pushes them to strive to be better in every game.
As the rivalry can be seen as having taken a whole lot more fun from the game, it can also be seen as adding a whole lot of competition and talking points to the game, making it even more popular than it already is.
For instance, Ronaldo has thousands more fans on Facebook and Instagram than Real Madrid, the club in which he currently plays.