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Opinion: Michael Phelps Isn’t The Best Athlete Of All Time

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US swimmer Michael Phelps competes in the men's 200m individual medley heats swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 1, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/GettyImages)

US swimmer Michael Phelps competes in the men’s 200m individual medley heats swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 1, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/GettyImages)

CBS Detroit h) Terry Foster
Born in Detroit, Foster started his Detroit professional career in...
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By: Terry Foster

Sorry gang. I can’t do it. I cannot call Michael Phelps the best athlete ever.

I cannot call a guy who does it every four years the best ever. And this might be my bias but I refuse to believe a swimmer is the best athlete ever. If you want to say he’s accomplished more than anybody in the Olympics, I am fine with that.

Phelps has won more Olympic medals than anybody in the world. And do you know who he beat? A 110 pound woman. Did this mean she was the greatest every before Phelps? Of course not.

I do not know who the best athlete of all time is. We all have our opinion but I believe if you really think about it that the best athlete probably played soccer, basketball, football or hockey. These are people who not only must get in prime shape but they just sustain bumps and bruises while competing against others. Nobody was trying to prevent Phelps from swimming his best time. In the other sports you have people who physically trying to prevent you from running, jumping or catching a ball.

Phelps has been great for about five or six years. Usually when we debate greatness in the stick and ball sports people say you need to be on top of your game for 10 years or more.

It is funny that the Phelps debate begins after he won a silver medal and got his only gold in a relay. A couple days ago the talk was about whether Phelps should have hung it up after winning eight gold medals in 2008 in China. How can he go from selfish bum to greatest of all time in a matter of hours?

Phelps is great. But the greatest of all time? I am not buying that one.

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