Phelps fans add to Chad’s glory
01 August 2012
Phelps is undoubtedly a legend, having won more Olympic medals than anyone in the 116-year history of the Games.
Even after his silver medal performance in the 200m butterfly, where Le Clos dethroned him as the defending champion, Phelps went on to join his US team-mates in winning a convincing gold in the 4x100 freestyle relay.
He is also very personable, which has helped him become a media darling.
All Phelps’s prowess only makes Le Clos’s achievement more laudable, so let them continue to sing the American’s praises.
Now more people know that the 200m butterfly was Phelps’s specialist event, so more can appreciate what the youngster from Westville Boys’ High has done.
Any animosity felt by South African supporters is not replicated in the relationship between Le Clos and his boyhood idol.
Le Clos, in particular, has been fulsome in his praise of Phelps, and the compliments have been reciprocal.
When the two met two years ago at the Youth Olympics in Singapore, where Le Clos won five gold medals, Phelps made a point of congratulating him and offering guidance.
Le Clos says he has always looked up to Phelps.
After his Tuesday night victory the youngster described Phelps as “definitely the greatest Olympian of all time”.
If he says so, who are we to argue?
There is indeed much to complain about when it comes to the commentary.
Why fee-paying South Africans have to endure Australians making condescending comments about our anthem is not clear.
But gripes about Olympic legends are unfair.
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