The first week of the Olympics was the Michael Phelps story. Not just in the US, but in Japan as well. They covered every second he was in the pool. To put this in perspective, this is the same country that didn't even show the 1500m final in track because there weren't any Japanese athletes in it. For Phelps to transcend the natural disinterest in foreign athletes is impressive. And he did it the world over.
He competed in 8 events: 5 individual races and 3 relays. He won 8 golds. He set 7 world records and 1 Olympic record. And some were done in epic, unforgettable style. He became the winningest athlete in Olympic history. He was the defining athlete of the Games, not just for Americans, but for pretty much everyone.
But then week two started, and Usain Bolt broke the 100m world record with ease. And then he danced, and everybody gasped. He immediately transcended the Japanese media barrier and became the de facto man of the hour. And then he broke the 200m world record, once thought to be virtually untouchable, and every person in Japan actually knew his name. And he danced some more. And when his Jamaican team broke the 16 year-old 4 x 100m relay record, it was over: he was an honorary Japanese.
3 races. 3 golds. 3 world records. Suddenly, Phelps' 15 minutes of fame were up and it was Bolt's turn to shine. And just as suddenly, people started to ask, "Was Bolt's the most amazing performance of Beijing?" (Gasp.) Better than Phelps? Could it be possible?
So with the debate raging, I decided to make a Squidoo lens about the topic. It has information about each athlete's amazing Olympic performances, and a spot for you to voice your opinion.
Seriously, who was the King of Beijing: Phelps or Bolt? And why do you lean one way or the other? Feel free to comment here, but I'd appreciate it if you commented on the lens as well. Let's make this the de facto site for this debate!
(You can see more of my lenses in the sidebar to the left, or click here.)