Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Word on Michael Phelps

We all know who Michael Phelps is, correct? The man who won a record eight gold medals in Beijing, and has been dubbed "the perfect swimmer." It appears that Mr. Phelps, back in November, visited the University of South Carolina to see a girl he used to date. There happened to be a party the night he visited, and he was photographed smoking a bong.

Let me say that when I was in high school, I had a couple of friends that smoked marijuana, and they offered it to me on more than one occasion. Of course I refused it, and for nothing more than the fact that I am an athlete, and I prefer not to do anything to my body that could hurt it. I swam, and I was damn good at it. Once i ventured to college, I gave up on swimming to focus on my academic studies. I still swim, almost daily, to stay in shape and to relax, but I no longer need to worry about my times and distances in the water.

I am disappointed in Michael Phelps. Not just for the drug use, though I doubt it is a "regular" habit. There is no way he could be as good a swimmer as he is if this were a regular habit. I am disappointed in Michael for two reasons. They are simple and succinct, and I seriously doubt someone would take issue with either one.

First and foremost, he was at a party, and at today's parties -- be they at college, high school, or even junior high -- everybody and their brother have cell phones, and most of them have a camera. He should have known that someone would take a picture of him smoking a bong. Shame on him for being as stupid as he was. It is one thing to be young, and cut loose. It is another thing when you do so and you get caught; caught to the tune of millions of people seeing you act like an idiot.

Second, he is a role model to many, many people. I know that people should not be looking up to athlete's for a role model, but they do. Kids across the globe that swim, or wanted to swim, looked up to this young man for inspiration. Parents encouraged their children to look up to him for his accomplishments. Now what do those parents say to their children? Even though Michael Phelps did not sign up to be Mr. Role Model for Millions, he is one, and he let a good deal of people down with his actions.

The man is an adult, and he can and will make his own mistakes. And this is obviously not the first time he has been in trouble with the law. The man may be a god of sorts in the water, but get him on land and he has problems.

All I can say is that I am disappointed with him. Moreover I am disappointed with the IOC in accepting his apology, and not holding him responsible for his actions. USA Swimming has also expressed regret but they, like the IOC, has no intention of levelling any sanctions against him. The latter story reflects that the only punishment he might receive would come in the form of companies that sponsor him. For the record, I believe he deserves a suspension for the actions he admits to, but that is not how the IOC and USA Swimming work. He has to test positive, and as yet he has not.

All we can do is hope that he abides by his promise to not do this again, and that people will forgive him his actions. I honestly do not know if I can. He took his sport seriously, and I was astonished to see those photos this weekend. I am sure I will forgive him his actions, over time, but right now I am simply disappointed in him. Over time his fans will likely forgive him. But he deserves the derision he receives right now over the adolescent actions that brought this grief to his doorstep.



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