Matthew Kitchen, NBC Olympics
American swimmer Tyler Clary seems very talented. He also might be insane.
In a more than candid interview with Jim Alexander, the first-time Olympian called out Michael Phelps for a lazy work ethic and said it was troubling that the legend took his talent for granted because Clary thinks “the things he could have done if he’d worked as hard as I do would have been even more incredible than what he has pulled off.” Wow, just… wow.
Phelps has earned 14 gold medals and swam for eight world records at the last two Olympics. What more do you want from him?
Clary seems to be repressing the sad reality that he’s accomplished less as a talented “blue-collar worker” than Phelps has as a slacking genetic wunderkind. We don’t imagine Phelps is nearly as lazy as Clary claims, even if the eight-time Beijing champ admits to sneaking out of practice and gaining 25 pounds “literally doing nothing” following the 2008 Olympics, but why would it matter if he was? In the words of the late Raiders owner Al Davis: “Just win, baby!”
We don’t need to know how the sausage and laws are made and we’d bore our eyes out if we had to watch a swim practice for more than seven minutes. In America we’re totally cool with the end justifying the means so long as you’re not taking advantage of your fellow man. Phelps never cheated and probably never did anything to the detriment of his team. He just won.
In Clary’s defense, he’s lost a lot of oxygen to the brain with all his time spent under water, and also claimed in the Baltimore Sun that his quotes were taken out of context. Don’t worry, though. Clary will be able to put his medals where his mouth is when he squares off against Phelps in the 200m butterfly in London. No big deal. Just an event Phelps has broken the world record in eight times. But seriously, have fun with that.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.