> Harold Pinter wrote:
> > No.
> > The 5 world records and most dominating championship the world has ever seen have established
> > him as the world's greatest swimmer.
He is the current world's best male swimmer. IMO, In order to be considered 'greatest ever', he has
to win a swag of olympic golds (he has yet to win a single olympic medal), preferably in multiple
olympics. Also, winning a freestyle event or two wouldn't hurt his chances too. Freestyle is the
fastest stroke and is the most competitive by far. Just a quick look at the list of greatest
swimmers in the past century (as voted by a panel of international coaches, commissioned by Swimming
World in 1999) confirm this : Spitz, Popov, Biondi, Rose, Salnikov, Gross, Fraser, Gould, Babashoff,
Wickham, Caulkins, Woodhead.
There are, however, other stroke swimmers with exceptional results, such as Egerszegi (Back and IM)
on the list. Although Egerszegi also won gold in the same event in three consecutive olympics, she
was not considered 'greatest'. The title went to Fraser, who swam freestyle events.
I am an american, but I think Thorpe is already halfway to the 'greatest' title. He has broken two
dozens WRs in 200-400-800 free. He has won multiple olympic golds. He has won the same events in
three consecutive world championships (400 free and 4x200 free). He is the most decorated swimmer in
the world championships history (11 golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze). He hasn't beaten in his best event
(400 free) since september 1997 (note : Phelps was beaten in the 200 fly in last year's pan pacs).
Phelps is now the world's best, and certainly has the talent and potential to be 'the greatest
ever', but whether he can maintain his unbelievable standards, we'll see next year in Athens.
"Martin W. Smith" <[email protected]
> wrote in message news:<[email protected]
> Wait a minute. Wait for the drug tests. A few years ago, Inge de Bruin's performance paled in
> comparison, but she was immediately attacked as a drug cheat. Even Ian Thorpe has had to defend
> himself against drug use accusations. So far, I haven't heard anyone say anything about Phelps and
> drugs, yet his performance is the most unbelievable of the three. Probably just another swimmer
> gone bad.
Don't you know that we, americans, are infamously known for our 'double standards' and