OPINIONATRIX…because my opinions dominate

I have never been able to jump on the Michael Phelps bandwagon, and after this weeks past events I finally feel justified.   It isn’t that I don’t recognize Phelps’ phenomenal abilities in the pool, I just never wavered from the belief that he was, in fact, human.  Not much good ever comes from putting anyone high up on a pedestal (especially if said person is as young as Phelps), because as an adoring public we will inevitably suffer a let down.

So, it has come to pass, Michael Phelps was caught – on camera – smoking pot and has since been suffering the fallout: a 3 month suspension by USA Swimming, and a release from his  endorsement contracts with both Kellogs and Subway.  Many of his other endorsement deals are still on track, but this is an undeniable blow to the Michael Phelps fan-base.

Many (including some of his sponsors) have come to his defense.  It’s true, Phelps is hardly the first 23 year old to get high, but he does deserve the criticism garnered for his actions.  By signing on to various endorsement deals and positioning himself as a role model and “all-American hero” to millions of children he needs to accept the responsibility that goes along with that.  Phelps could have receded into society after the Beijing games, and gone back to being an average citizen.  Instead, he decided on a different path, and thus agreed to the unspoken terms that his actions would have to live up to a higher standard.

Furthermore, this is not Phelps’ first transgression.  He has slipped up before; obtaining a DUI in 2004 and being photographed with strippers earlier this year.  String the 3 together and Phelps looks more like a frat boy and less like a fish.  Michael Phelps may be king of the pool, but on land – he’s just an average guy.


As someone who has never been into sports, it has really surprised me how intrigued I have been by the Olympics. It’s just so exciting! Between all the triumphs, scandals and news you’d have to be living under a rock to not get at least a little sucked in. However, as much as I am enjoying the games – and I am enjoying them – one thing has me a little peeved. Michael Phelps.

I get it, he can swim. But what about sharing the spotlight ? Last time I checked it was the US swim team we sent to Beijing – not the Michael Phelps show. I am not putting down his abilities. I realize what an amazing athlete he is and by no means want to take that away from him, but what about all our other swimmers? Dara Torres, Katie Hoff, Jason Lezak, Peter Vanderkaay and countless others – all of whom have medaled in the 2008 games.

And yet, all we seem to hear is Phelps, Phelps, Phelps. Even his mother is now recognizable to anyone who has been watching the games due to the constant footage of her cheering in the stands. We have been subjected to news story after news story about him – down to his diet! I’m not saying forget about him but let’s give it a rest for a while. I mean honestly, how many medals does one guy need? That cheering mother of his should have taught him about sharing (if not the medals, at least the spotlight).

et cetera