Olympics  > General Olympics  > The GOAT in the Olympics?
July 31, 2012, 10:34 PM
Michael Farber>INSIDE SWIMMING
It's beyond dispute: Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time

Ummm, NO. If your simply counting medals and nothing else, then yes, Michael Phelps has the most medals, and nothing else. Not that winning medals isn't something, it is. BUT.... to be called the greatest of all time just because you participate in an Olympic sport that gives out medals for just stepping on the starting block (LOL)......it just isn't even fair to discuss this GOAT thing until we check in with another sport.

The greatest athletes at every Olympics are the decathletes, and that's indisputable. They go through 10 events:

Day 1
100 metres
Long jump
Shot put
High jump
400 metres
Day 2
110 metres hurdles
Discus throw
Pole vault
Javelin throw
1500 metres

The funny thing is they don't get medals for winning EACH EVENT as in swimming. They can only medal AFTER completely all the events. If they gave out individual medals for each (like in swimming or gymnastics) I doubt we would even be having this discussion.

Should we penalize swimmers for this? No. The Olympics make the rules so what are you going to do......have a decathlon in swimming to make it fairer and equal?!
I just don't think it's fair to heap praise on an event that gives out medals for everything but the disrobing. I think it might be time to remember the decathletes, because they're getting RIPPED OFF of the merchandise baby! LOL
July 31, 2012  10:38 PM ET

I'm just joking around here......or am I?

July 31, 2012  10:43 PM ET

July 31, 2012  10:48 PM ET

"Congress will pass a law restricting public comment on the Internet to individuals who have spent a minimum of one hour actually accomplishing a specific task while on line." -Andy Grove

July 31, 2012  11:45 PM ET

You are forgetting that each of the 10 events in the decathlon has its own medal awarding event or race. There is nothing preventing a decathlete from running in the 100 meter race or the 1500 meters, or partcipating in the high or long jumps.

Swimming actually does have something that is quite analogous to the decathlon.
It's called the individual medley.

August 1, 2012  12:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

You are forgetting that each of the 10 events in the decathlon has its own medal awarding event or race. There is nothing preventing a decathlete from running in the 100 meter race or the 1500 meters, or partcipating in the high or long jumps.Swimming actually does have something that is quite analogous to the decathlon. It's called the individual medley.

Okay, I get your point.....BUT.....you missed mine. Your narrowing the field to events that are exclusive. That was never the point. I was looking more at INDIVIDUAL events within the same environment. Swimming events exclusive to the Olympic rules, and the decathlon being SCREWED by the rules of the Olympics. I guess they should issue "raincoats" (in military language...condoms) to the decathletes! lol

August 1, 2012  12:15 AM ET

August 1, 2012  12:19 AM ET

THE greatest of ALL TIME are decathlon winners. If any of them REPEAT.....the G.O.A.T. is OBVIOUS!

August 1, 2012  12:20 AM ET

I want to say that I admire Decathletes. I ran track and I know how hard they train. But how many Decathletes are the best in the world at any one of their events? There's a reason they are called Decathlon World Records.

August 1, 2012  12:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I want to say that I admire Decathletes. I ran track and I know how hard they train. But how many Decathletes are the best in the world at any one of their events? There's a reason they are called Decathlon World Records.

Your narrowing the field to specific events. I could use the same argument. How many world champions in ONE or TWO events in track 'n field could be gold medalists at the decathlon? Probably NONE.

August 1, 2012  12:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Okay, I get your point.....BUT.....you missed mine. Your narrowing the field to events that are exclusive. That was never the point. I was looking more at INDIVIDUAL events within the same environment. Swimming events exclusive to the Olympic rules, and the decathlon being SCREWED by the rules of the Olympics. I guess they should issue "raincoats" (in military language...condoms) to the decathletes! lol

You're right...I am missing your point because I have absolutely NO IDEA what it is that you just said!

August 1, 2012  12:49 AM ET

I have an IDEA....OMG....DEATH has an idea.

I don't subscribe to "Throwdowns"....BUT I throw this out for argument sake:

Whose the better OVERALL athlete....the SWIMMER competing in say 7 or 8 events (if he/she is good enough....max), or the DECATHLETE in 10 events. (?)

August 1, 2012  12:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

You're right...I am missing your point because I have absolutely NO IDEA what it is that you just said!

LOL, fair enough. Look above.

August 1, 2012  12:52 AM ET

Then again, as an Army retired soldier.....I should have included my special forces bros.....enough said.

August 1, 2012  12:55 AM ET

People will always look towards the OPPOSITE in any argument about something. That's the point of this discussion. This is my intent....nothing more. Doesn't mean I agree with what I'm even implying....it's just thrown out there for discussion. Take care.

August 1, 2012  03:00 AM ET

.......after some discussion, it is...what it is.

August 1, 2012  03:04 AM ET

ANY challenges to the argument? Will not ANY "Touchdown" children offer a VOICE?! lol

I thought not.

August 1, 2012  07:11 AM ET

I wouldn't go so far as to call Michael Phelps the greatest athlete of all time. In fact, I'm pretty damn sure he's not.

But he is the greatest Olympian.

August 1, 2012  07:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

I wouldn't go so far as to call Michael Phelps the greatest athlete of all time. In fact, I'm pretty damn sure he's not.But he is the greatest Olympian.

It's not just that he has more medals than anyone else. It's that the gold medal count isn't even close.

Right now he has 15 golds. (it could be more by the end of next week)

The next closest all-time is 9 golds.

And comparing one event to another is a completely apples and oranges debate; it's impossible to do.

August 1, 2012  11:24 AM ET

Aleksandr Medved.

Free style wrestler. Competed in three Olympics, at a different weight class each time. Won Gold each time.

3 for 3....100% Gold.

 
August 1, 2012  03:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

It's not just that he has more medals than anyone else. It's that the gold medal count isn't even close.Right now he has 15 golds. (it could be more by the end of next week)The next closest all-time is 9 golds.And comparing one event to another is a completely apples and oranges debate; it's impossible to do.

It's a shame that decathletes get the short end of it, but I understand the argument.

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