Friday, 15 January 2010

Top 20 Swimmers of the 2000s - No.1 - Michael Phelps

Award season is upon us here at Speed Endurance HQ.

Over the coming weeks I will be running down my Top 20 Swimmers of 2000-2009. Unlike most lists I will do it in ascending order. Part of the excitement of these lists is discovering who is no.1 and since most people on the planet could guess who that will be I've decided to go the other way. I hope I don't upset too many 'list-purists' in the process.

Entry onto this list will depend on a number of factors. Weighted most heavily will be individual performance at the Olympics and World Championships (Relay medals won't count), followed by duration of time as WR holder and number of World Swimmer of the Year awards. The final factor will be the swimmer's impact and dominance in the sport of swimming.

So without further ado...

No. 1 - Michael Phelps

Performance 2000-2009

Olympics - 9 Golds, 1 Bronze
Worlds - 13 Gold, 3 Silver
WRs - 200 Free - 2007-2009, 100 Fly - 2003, 2009-2010, 200 Fly 2001-2010, 200 IM - 2003-2009, 400 IM - 2002-2010
World Swimmer of the Year - 6 times, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

The greatest swimmer to have ever lived. He took up Ian Thorpe's mantle as the most famous swimmer in the world and ran with it. To say he raised the bar of swimming doesn't even begin to go far enough.

Phelps was made to swim - mentally and physically. With his enormous wingspan, short legs and hypermobile ankles he has a swimmers physique unmatched by many aswell as a mental steel and toughness that has allowed him to remain motivated despite his success. Whilst many swimming stars reach the top of the world for a couple of years and then are surpassed by younger talent or lose their motivation to stay at the top, Phelps seems to be just as motivated now as in Sydney as a 15 year old coming 5th in the 200m Fly final.

A great piece on Michael Phelps here by GB 200 fly swimmer Steve Parry.

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