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Comparing records in swimming with those in Athletics is unfair I believe.

Records in swimming are broken on a daily bases it would seem so :s Every time there is a competion records fall. In Athletics world records are hard to come by.

How many have been broken in Beijing in Athletics? 3 I think?

How many in swimming? I think 22 new world marks.

Think about it nyfan.

What's that got to do with anything? It just means that sprinting is a more mature sport than swimming. Every sport that covers a distance and is timed has a limit. You can't run the 100 m in zero seconds just as you can't swim the length of a pool in zero seconds. In sprinting, we are likely close to the limit of what is humanly possible and will be down to measuring .000's of a second. In swimming, we likely have a ways to go, but still, it isn't like the records are broken by 15 or 20 seconds.

Sprinting is close to being perfected. A certain body type and clothing type have been optimized. Swimming still has some experimentation with body types and clothing.

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What's that got to do with anything? It just means that sprinting is a more mature sport than swimming. Every sport that covers a distance and is timed has a limit. You can't run the 100 m in zero seconds just as you can't swim the length of a pool in zero seconds. In sprinting, we are likely close to the limit of what is humanly possible and will be down to measuring .000's of a second. In swimming, we likely have a ways to go, but still, it isn't like the records are broken by 15 or 20 seconds.

Sprinting is close to being perfected. A certain body type and clothing type have been optimized. Swimming still has some experimentation with body types and clothing.

We will have to agree to disagree. The Lightning Bolt will set more records in the coming years. I won`t here anything about Swimming until 2012. Swimming just doesn`t have the reach Athletics has.

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That depends on future Olympics, Kendegra.

True. Both Bolt and Phelps could repeat in London. Or even claim a few more prizes in Chicago/Rio/Tokyo/Madrid (???). But if the feats of Jesse Owens, Mark Spitz, and Paavo Nurmi have stood the test of time, surely winning 8 golds in one Olympiad and 14 gold in two is good enough to keep you in the Top 10.

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True. Both Bolt and Phelps could repeat in London. Or even claim a few more prizes in Chicago/Rio/Tokyo/Madrid (???). But if the feats of Jesse Owens, Mark Spitz, and Paavo Nurmi have stood the test of time, surely winning 8 golds in one Olympiad and 14 gold in two is good enough to keep you in the Top 10.

Phelps is amazing. I`m not saying he isn`t or that he isn`t going to be always remembered for his achievements!!!!!

Bolts achievements are just different in my opinion, that`s all.

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You seem to be basing much of your opinion on the popularity of a sport and not the outstanding achievement of the athlete.

Then I guess Katarina Witt is a better athlete than Matthew Pinsent because her sport is more popular.

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But in 2096 when the "Greatest Athletes of the Second Olympic Century" is published, Phelps will rank higher than Bolt.

I think both athlete will mentioned as greatest athletes, who participated at Olympic Games, but I doubt that there will be ever an official "ranking" of athletes...

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius
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Phelps is HEAPS better. He competed in what 8 or 9 days -- always at the peak of perfection!!

Bolt - what? 3 days in bursts of under a minute or so?

There is NO COMPARISON whatsoever. Bolt is a blip on the radar. Phelps is a STARBURST in the scheme of things.

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I think both athlete will mentioned as greatest athletes, who participated at Olympic Games, but I doubt that there will be ever an official "ranking" of athletes...

Well, never by the IOC, but there are plenty of unofficial lists and books out there that have done that, especially around 1996.

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Firstly, there is no comparison. Realistically, anyone who is thinking clearly and balanced would conclude that comparing swimming to athletics is like comparing peaches and oranges so the grestest argument does not apply here.

However, I'm leaning towards Bolt beacuse he certainly did not have the sports infrastructure where as Phelps did. Additionally, Phelps doesn't really have a story of struggle like Bolt during childhood and overcoming odds is wha the Olympics is really about , so Bolt's personal story really crushes Phelps'.

another factor one has to consider is how both athletes won their "defining" medals. One of Phelp's races was desputable but Bolt won the 200 metres by the largest factor in Olympic History.

Rogge doesn't know what its like to have gone through what Hussine went through and reach the top of the world so he is way off.

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Phelps is HEAPS better. He competed in what 8 or 9 days -- always at the peak of perfection!!

I think official rankings are always a sensitive issue - especially in sports...

The efforts of an athletes are listed only and therewith everybody can judge him/herself, who athlete is/was "better" than another athlete.

Rankings in books, magazines, etc. etc. often depends, where the book, magazine etc. etc. is published - e.g. you can be sure that the efforts of Bolton in Beijing will be higher ranked in Jamaica than anywhere else....

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In Bolt's case, it's the Events that he won make him 'great' -- i.e., those are the marquee races in Track & Field.

With Phelps, it is the total gargantuan, nay HERCULEAN effort, that it took to win those 8 GOLDS that make Phelps the BETTER athlete!

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In Bolt's case, it's the Events that he won make him 'great' -- i.e., those are the marquee races in Track & Field.

With Phelps, it is the total gargantuan, nay HERCULEAN effort, that it took to win those 8 GOLDS that make Phelps the BETTER athlete!

You may well be right, but I think in years to come the name most people will associate with these Games will be that of the Jamaican, not the American. Whether that's fair I don't know.

Maybe it'll be different in the US, but over here everything that isn't about our own meteroic rise up the medal's table, is about Bolt. He is the man getting all the coverage, a lot more than Phelps did when he won his eighth.

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You may well be right, but I think in years to come the name most people will associate with these Games will be that of the Jamaican, not the American. Whether that's fair I don't know.

Maybe it'll be different in the US, but over here everything that isn't about our own meteroic rise up the medal's table, is about Bolt. He is the man getting all the coverage, a lot more than Phelps did when he won his eighth.

That may be the case now, but I think that Phelps' will be legendary in that it's truly a first, and a Herculean first at that.

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What do expectations have to do with it? A great performance is a great performance. And Bolt was also expected to do well. He did have the world record before Beijing and some very fast times throughout the year. Both men will leave as the "Heroes of Beijing".

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Phelps, frankly, was expected to do what he did. Bolt was not.

That may well be true. But in achieving what was expected of him was no mean feat.

Both Phelps and Bolt are the stars of these games.

But of course, it depends on your view point as to which is better.

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I look at it this way. Bolt broke the WR in what might be the two most prestigious events of the Games. If someone would have taken 3 seconds of the 5000m WR and 7 seconds off the 10,000m WR and I came on here an said what they did was more impressive than Phelps, you would call me crazy. What Bolt did was incredible, but it doesn't compare to Phelps who won 8 gold medals with 17 races in 8 days.

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