Breaking Down the Comparisons Between Lindsey Vonn and Michael Phelps

Lindsey VonnTake a second and Google “Vonn the Next Phelps” (without the quotations). I did, and I got 73,400 hits! Granted many of those aren’t discussing whether or not Lindsey Vonn is the next Michael Phelps. But the whole first page is with Yahoo! and NBC among those chiming in. Let’s get one thing straight. Vonn is not, can not, and will not be the next Michael Phelps. I’ll breakdown why that is after the break.

  • Why Lindsey Vonn can’t be compared to Michael Phelps
    • Vonn is hoping to win five gold medals in Vancouver. Five is less than the eight Phelps won in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
    • When Phelps won those medals he was breaking a record. No one had won eight Golds in a single Olympics before. American speed skater Eric Heiden has already won five Golds in a single Olympics, so at her best Vonn cannot break this record.
    • Phelps came into the Olympics with a few Gold Medals to his name already. We may be a “what have you done for me lately” society, but legacies are built on longevity and he has made his mark in that regard.
    • Vonn has media hype. I won’t deny this. But does anyone remember the Phelps hype? She says “They’re Phelpsing me“. No, they are hyping you. But this is nothing like the Phelps hype. If I walked through the mall and asked random people if they have heard of Lindsey Vonn, I’d probably hear several people say “yes”. But I would wager the percentage would be much higher if I asked about Michael Phelps.
    • The modern Olympics have been around for over a hundred years now, and in 2008 Michael Phelps became an Olympic hero like we had never seen previously. How can we already be looking for the next Michael Phelps when he performed his magic a mere two years ago?

    If that’s not enough to convince then I guess you just want to be sold. That’s fair enough. Sports are about entertainment. But be careful not to let 2008’s entertainment be cheapened by 2010’s. All Phelps’ transgressions and mistakes aside, what he did in the 2008 summer games was very memorable, and could very well be a once-in-a-lifetime performance. So remember that. You don’t need to try to find the next amazing Olympic achievement.

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