If you meet a guy who has a five-egg omelette and three fried-egg sandwiches laden with cheese and mayonnaise for breakfast, you’d probably call him a glutton. And if you were told that he has a 12000-calorie diet when the average male has 3000 calories, you’d probably think he’s headed straight for a heart attack. But the difference is, we’re talking about Michael Phelps here.
Michael Phelps, as you know, is the Flying Fish. He’s the 6 feet 4 inches guy towering above all athletes produced by mankind. With an unimaginable 23 Olympic Golds to his tally, this swimming legend trains like a maniac. He swims for 6 hours a day and runs on land for 120 minutes. He burns so many calories that he constantly needs to fuel his inner submarine.
In the Rio Olympics, he hauled 5 Golds and 1 Silver at 31, an age when most of his peers would have been swimming with pigs in the Bahamas. You’d be surprised to know that Michael drew a blank in his first shot at Olympics. He finished fifth at Sydney in the Year 2000. But then he was barely 15.
Another giant who had a terrible first Olympics was Usain Bolt. He was selected by Jamaica to run the 200 m race at the Athens games in 2004. Hampered by an injury, Usain didn’t even make the cut. Many wrote him off. But the Lightning Bolt struck back to become the World’s Fastest Man with the unbelievable record of pulling off a triple-triple in 3 consecutive Olympics.
A juicy fact about him is that the name Usain was chosen by his mom on the suggestion of a 12-year-old boy who told her it means ‘beautiful’. Incidentally, till the age of 12, his mom always used to beat him in races that they never timed!
Curiously, Usain has an equally legendary appetite like Michael Phelps. During his 10-day stay at the Beijing Olympics, he’s supposed to have gobbled up 1000 chicken nuggets and loads of French Fries. His weakness for food, might have prompted him to open a sports themed restaurant called ‘Tracks & Records’ at Kingston.
But which of these two greats, is the greatest? If one goes by the glitter of gold, it’s got to be Phelps. The heart, however, doesn’t merely go by numbers. For being a charming trail blazer from a tiny island nation, the race has to be won by a mile by the thunderous Bolt.