Phelps: “Just a Man, Not a Merman”

All-star American swimmer Michael Phelps didn’t have the best Saturday: He not only got trounced by rival Ryan Lochte in the 400-meter individual medley, but also placed outside of the top three altogether. Just four years ago, Phelps smashed the world record in the 400-meter medley relay, making his London failure all the more pronounced.

Writers Josh Levin and Justin Peters offer this humorous take on “The guy with the most gold medals in history is just a man, not a merman.” Jokes aside, they also make the astute observation that this fall from first place could turn into an American second act.

“[Losing] shows that Phelps is human; it makes him a bit more likable. If, however, he continues to flounder, he’ll take a short-term marketability hit while setting himself up for a hell of a comeback narrative going into 2016,” the two suggest. Or, he could take gold this week, in the upcoming races he has against Lochte. And that would make for great reality TV.

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Photo by Karen Blaha via Wikimedia Commons

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