Thursday, August 14, 2008
Michael Phelps, super swimmer
I caught up with Olympic news from yesterday's newspaper (no prizes for guessing why I read yesterday's paper today). Michael Phelps is indeed AMAZING!! One sport that I like watching on TV is swimming. I've yet to really watch any this Olympic season actually. Again, no prizes for guessing why I've not watched TV...
As of yesterday, Michael Phelps has achieved historic Olympic record no Olympian has ever achieved, breaking world records, some of which he himself set a few years ago. In the 2004 Olympics, he had won six golds and he was only 19 then.
According to news agency AFP, he "captured the 10th and 11th gold medals of his Games career...with his world-record setting triumph in the men's 200m butterfly...an hour later he led the US to record-shattering victory in the 4X200m relay."
I read that he was diagnosed with ADHD when he was young and started swimming at age 7, partly because of this. So who says you can't achieve amazing feats if you have a certain condition, disease, disability? Time and again, many such people have put 'normal' fellow humans to shame by not letting their disadvantages hinder them or stop them from achieving their mother of all dreams.
Take for instance New Zealand mountaineer Mark Inglis who conquered Everest in 2006 with his two prosthetic legs. He lost both legs below the knee in a climbing accident and frostbite years ago but that did not stop him from climbing and becoming the first double amputee to summit Sagamartha (what Tibetans call Everest).
Another example is Dr William Tan, a physician who 'runs' marathons in his wheelchair. He was stricken with polio when young and has spent most of his life in a wheelchair but that didn't stop him from becoming a physician and marathon man. He even completed a marathon in the North Pole, and all his feats are for charitable causes.
In a press release, he was quoted saying "Disability should be regarded as a stepping stone in life, rather than an obstacle to overcome. I believe in promoting resilience and tenacity where we constantly strive to stretch our limits, reinvent ourselves, and transform adversity into advantage."