I am a phan! Please don't take issue with my use of the word boy; it's not derogative. I use the same term when watching football (then it's run, boy, run). Also, I feel a bit like an old lady watching 23 year-old Michael Phelps! So, Friday night, watching the 100m butterfly race, I was up on my knees on the bed, both fists pumping the air, whisper-screaming, "Swim, boy, swim" (no real screaming, my one year-old had just fallen asleep on the bed)! I do not know Michael Phelps, but he appears to be a pretty stand-up fellow. He obviously respects and adores his mother and sisters. In interviews with his relay teammates, he always gives the teammates their due and doesn't hog the spotlight. Also, his teammates say they are proud of him. I think that speaks volumes. So, I couldn't stay awake for last night's race, but the first thing I asked my husband when he woke up was "did you watch the relay last night?" After getting a yes, "did they win?" After getting the boys breakfast, I'm reading the yahoo article on Phelps's eighth gold and crying (I know, laugh if you want). Then, I'm on nbcolympics.com watching the video of the relay and medal ceremony. I know some folks take issues with him wearing his ipod until the last couple of minutes. Who cares? If that's his routine, so be it. I'm proud of him. I've enjoyed watching the events he's participated in (and a lot of others, too, the twelve hour difference is getting to me). Maybe he has displayed some bad qualities or used curse words in interviews (that really makes me mad, don't these athletes know children and young adults look up to them?), but I have not seen it. (Feel free to comment and let me know if he has, but first know that what he listens to on his ipod will not change my opinion). This quote from an article by Dan Wetzel on Yahoo Sports struck me:
“It’s been nothing but an upward rollercoaster,” Phelps said. “It’s been nothing but fun.”
I interpret that as: it's hard work, but I've loved every minute of it! Also interpreted as, hard work pays off, nothing in life is free, or one of my sixth grade teacher's favorites, nothing from nothing leaves nothing, you give me nothing, you get nothing (okay, that one might be a stretch). So, Phelps exhibits humility, responsibility, strength of body and mind, drive, esprit de corps, and elan...sounds like qualities I want my children to have and to have myself. Sounds phantastic!