Letting Go is Not Easy

July 29th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

Ryan Lochte is the new American international swimming sensation, with his victory in the 400 meter individual medley, he has now amassed 4 gold, 2 silver and one bronze medal. Ryan said it was sad and unusual not to see, Michael Phelps up on the medal stand. Phelps, who has won an astonishing and unprecedented 14 Olympic Gold medals and 2 bronze in his career, 8 of which came in 2008 (he won every event he entered) has not even won a single medal this time.
Though Michael is still only 27, he could have certainly been in better shape, but one has to admit that having just completely and utterly decimated his competition at the 2008 Beijing games, it is hard, or actually impossible to top what he did. Michael Phelps is an international celebrity, a household name and an individual who had the acumen to parlay his stardom into a prodigiously lucrative marketing machine -not to mention having the moniker of being the greatest swimmer who ever lived.
The problem with every athlete is letting go and stepping down when you’re on top. There is is also such a thing as retiring too early when there is still much to accomplish, e.g. Barry Sanders, who was the greatest running back at the time he quit when he was only a few hundred yards from Walter Payton’s rushing record, & of course every Giant fan knows the story of Tiki Barber (a broadcaster he was not).
So with the exception of the aforementioned, all the greats stay in the game too long. Certainly, Michael is very young man and he ought to swim for the rest of his life, but by competing in the Olympics once again, he had everything to lose and nothing to gain. Mr. Phelps will also go down in history as the greatest swimmer who ever lived but now we see Michael as a mere mortal whereas before he was an infallible GOD!
So whaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Can you name other athletes who can’t leave the limelight? I would love to see some other examples. I can make this blog 100s of pages long just listing names e.g. Muhammed Ali, Randy Couture, Chuck Lidell, Rickey Henderson, ….

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