Thursday, August 14, 2008
Phelps to swim in sneakers for rest of Olympics
Record-setting men's US swimmer Michael Phelps has decided to swim the remainder of his Olympic races while wearing sneakers. This is a decision made by Phelps and not by the International Olympic Committee.
"I just want to see if I can still set records in sneakers," said a smiling Phelps. "It might level the playing field somewhat."
In the past the IOC(International Olympic Committe) has limited dominant athletes in some way to create more parity and closer competition to increase television audiences.
For example the IOC forced Mark Spitz to don a mustache during the 1972 Olympics in Mexico in an attempt to slow the gold medalist down. Swimmers are known to shave their entire body for better aerodynamics. However, the mustache(It later became known as the Speedstache) wasn't able to level the field.
"Phelps is so good that we didn't think that anything would hinder his march to history," said IOC president, Carl Kyle.
Phelps vehemently denied that his recent endorsement deal with Nike required him to swim at least two Olympic races in the athletic company's sneakers.
When asked what brand of sneakers he would be wearing Phelps gave a smile and asked,"Does it really matter?"