Phelps phenomenon

By Gillian Davis
September 18, 2008

Did Michael Phelps lose his taste for chlorine? Or is he just searching for other hidden talents under that tantalizing, sculpted body?

Phelps has currently taken a break from his regimented swimming schedule to bask in the glory of the media.

Michele Canavan, senior biology major, said, “His appearance in the media after his successful return from China is really amazing because he’s a great role model and it doesn’t hurt that he’s nice to look at.”

His new career path in the public’s spotlight didn’t even start after the Beijing Olympics.

Around April, Phelps participated in Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams Campaign, posing as a mer-man alongside actress Julianne Moore.

Post-Olympics, Phelps has been offered numerous gigs in the advertising world.

He has been presented contracts with Visa, AT&T, PowerBar, Speedo, Omega and even a cameo on “Entourage.”

He has been given offers dealing with commemorative coins, car rims, acrylic paintings, bobblehead dolls and dog food.

There have been very few people who view his regular appearance negatively. Some may even say he is selling out. Those very few people should also watch their backs because Phelps fans can be vicious.

“He earned it! Every cent. He beat everyone in the world. He’s the man right now,” Corey White, junior information systems major, said.

But it’s not like Phelps is stockpiling all of his money and smirking at the fact he is now making millions.

He has started his own foundation properly named, the Michael Phelps Foundation.

Phelps decided to have the foundation concentrate on helping kids pursue healthy lifestyles by swimming for recreational fun and also for competitive event.

All of the $1 million that he collected from Speedo, for breaking Mark Spitz’s seven medal record with his eight, will be given to the foundation.

“Phelps is a humble guy,” White said. “Most humble athletes like him are the best at what they do and he proved it with eight gold medals.”

Even on countless television interviews, Phelps appears to be modest.

He grins whenever anyone compliments him or laughs when someone cracks a good-hearted joke about his crazy mother in the stands.

There is no doubt that Phelps will continue dominating the world with more endorsement proposals, commercials, interviews, TV appearances and promoting his new foundation. Andy Golden, junior political science major, thinks that Phelps “will make even greater strokes outside of the pool.”

After touring the United States, shaking hands and giving interviews, Phelps just wants to go back home and reunite with his bulldog, Herman.

But he can’t rest for long. He has to start training for the 2012 Olympics in London.

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Gillian Davis

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