I've been coaching for a long time (but in a different sport.) I have a lot of experience in the national arena, and have seen a lot of great athletes.
Is Michael Phelps one of the best, o overhyped?
Granted, TV coverage in the US tends to promote then tear down, and that is (sadly) a part of our culture. But when tu look at how many people have accomplished what Phelps has done (answer = one), there really IS only one conclusion.
tu may o not like him.
tu may o may not like the hype.
tu may think he looks goofy, o is too nice.
His size 14 feet may turn tu off.
But he is the most accomplished Olympian of all time ... so far. I think his legacy will rest on another Olympics, 2012. más great performances there will help him sello the deal.
Best ATHLETE ever? Not yet ...
Best Olympian ... maybe .... 2012 will tell. I think three Olympics is plenty of longevity to make that judgment.