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What do you think of American swimmer Michael Phelps' long victory yell after he wins a race?

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Some people think it's arrogant and boorish but I think it's perfectly natural in light of the circumstances, i.e. trash talking by their bitter opponent, unbelievably close and improbable comeback by Lezak, etc. etc. Hell, even I was yelling and screaming and jumping, as were millions of other people. Such is the extreme of sports and emotions. No big deal really, what about Kitajima's scream? Same deal.

By the way, a study was just released which shows that from a biological standpoint, humans are not the only ones to engage in forms of victory dance or exultation as a form of dominance.

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its only natural. only those sumo guys dont do it. what`s up with that?

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Guess it is not Japanese but I don't see a problem. Kitajima and Tanimoto seemed pretty pleased with their golds...

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rjd jr - I'm afraid I'm one of those people. He's entitled to a celebration, and he is doubtless one of he best swimmers ever (especially since Thorpe gave him the chance by retiring) but he sounds like an arrogant thug to me. I'd respect him a lot more if he kept quiet and had a more dignified celebration.

It's a pity that some people will see this, and instead of celebrating his undoubted brilliance as a swimmer, will see him as just another offensive, noisy American fool

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I think there are two kinds of 'victory yell'. There's the 'overflow of joy' yell (cho kimochi ii) and there's the arrogant 'I'm better than anyone else' yell.

Kitajima of course is the first kind. He's full of confidence, of course, as he has every right to be because he's a darn good swimmer, but it doesn't come across as arrogance and it's easy to join him in celebrating his win.

I'm not sure which one was Phelps, but the cock-crowing after the US team snatched the 400m relay gold struck me as being the second kind. There was something aggressive and boorish about it, and it didn't leave a favourable impression. They may all in fact be very nice, unaffacing lads in private, in which case the chest-thumping was all the more unfortunate.

humans are not the only ones to engage in forms of victory dance or exultation as a form of dominance

You mean you're happy to have your star athletes act like animals??

I would like to see many more Eddie Edwards at the Olympics. Let the professionals go back to earning money on the circuit, and let the amateurs have their day at the Olympics. I want to see more 'OMG I can't believe I did it' smiles on the rostrum (a la Becky Adlington), and fewer (preferably no) arrogant golds and sulky silvers.

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I'm not sure which one was Phelps, but the cock-crowing after the US team snatched the 400m relay gold struck me as being the second kind.

If you're not sure just try reversing the scenario - imagine if US athletes had boasted the way the French did and then lost.

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undecided -

Not sure I follow you. Are the French also known for boorish victory displays?

Does anyone have any links to this French boasting, which I seem to have missed? What exactly was said?

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BEIJING (Reuters) - World record holder Alain Bernard opened the war of words for the Olympic swimming competition on Thursday, stating he was the favorite for the 100 meters freestyle and the French relay squad would "smash" the Americans.

http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Olympics/idUSSP28868620080807

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IT WAS AMAZING! It made me feel his excitement for the game! He's american! So I love him!

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A quotidian ejaculation

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Hmmm, perhaps we could pair this with a question asking what we think of arrogant Japanese swimmers who are gleeful over their rivals doing poorly in qualification?

Anyone who is wiling to overlook our little cheating breaststroker (as the replays proved in Athens) is in no position to pass judgement on Phelps.

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undecided -

Thanks for the link. So one Frenchman gave the US team the motivation they needed to push out that extra fraction of a second? Great. How does that make boorish victory displays OK?

At least at the Sydney games when the Americans boasted they would 'smash the Australians like guitars' the Australian victory display (celebratory air-guitar) had a splash of humour in it. (see, don't have to imagine if US athletes had boasted the way the French did and then lost, just read about it in the archives. :-D)

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Phelps shmelps !! What an idiot !! Shouting "Yeah baby ! Let's go baby !" after winning, what a fool. American culture is bringing down standards globally. Before we know it everyone in Japan will be chewing gum, drinking bud, and shouting "Yeah baby !" whilst giving each other high fives. A sad state of affairs....................

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Yeah, baby! Hee hee!

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I think there are two kinds of 'victory yell'. There's the 'overflow of joy' yell (cho kimochi ii) and there's the arrogant 'I'm better than anyone else' yell.

Yep every competitor in the world fits in two groups nicely with your rhetoric.

I'm not sure which one was Phelps

And that would pretty much disqualify you from addressing the question this thread is about.

He (Kitajima) is full of confidence, of course, as he has every right to be because he's a darn good swimmer

And Phelps isn't? Your bias is obvious and I hereby serve your notice of disqualification.

I for one don't mind his antics. It's interesting, as were the Japanese commentators' reactions in one case - back to the studio and it was silence for a couple of seconds and mouths gaping open. Hilarious!

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I'm with moriman on this, totally immature.

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Why is this even the question of the day? Who cares what or how a guy likes to celebrate his victory. Some will be quieter some noisier. No matter which it gives you no right to come here and deny the man his victory and write it off as arrogant American culture. What's more arrogant than your own arrogance in how bad American culture is in comparison to others? No matter how you slice it, he has every right to celebrate in whatever fashion he pleases short of raping and pillaging as some European fans seem to be used to.

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The funny thing is that a lot of Americans think this is perfectly normal behaviour - it is only those who have seen the way that most of the rest of the world behaves who are cringing. One of my American friends said he thinks it's a bit over the top, even though he's rightly proud of the achievement.

I don't remember Mark Spitz doing this, back in the days when the rewards were miniscule in comparison to those on offer today.

Dignity is a virtue, I concur with Cleo

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If you win an Olympic gold medal you ARE better than everyone else. Yell, scream, dance, do a hand stand, whatever you want, it's you're moment and everyone else can go to hell.

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I haven't been watching the olympics, am generally irritated by my fellow Americans' boorish behavior, and have a basic distaste for cocky sports attitudes. But this is ludicrous. This guy has spent his entire existence building up to this moment, beats out an arrogant opponent that had been talking trash...

...and people judge him because he didn't make an appropriate noise when he won.

Good lord.

Yes, it would be nice if everything was rainbows and kittens, if everyone bowed politely when they won, and modeled their behavior on whatever will make the average chump happy when sitting in their armchair drinking beer.

I know people have differing opinions, but this is pathetic. There's armchair quarterbacking, and there's this. It's petty, small minded, and frankly, I'd say it's a window into a person's character. How old are you people? At least when Phelps acted foolish, he had a spectacularly good motivation to do so.

Sometimes I feel like I'm surrounded by nothing but bitter, cranky retirees.

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If you win an Olympic gold medal you ARE better than everyone else. Yell, scream, dance, do a hand stand, whatever you want, it's you're moment and everyone else can go to hell.

Which of course utterly defeats the representative notion of nation-based athletic competition and sportsmanship...

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Good normal joy ,after winning race as world best.

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Here here, TPOJ.

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Didn't see it. What I did see though was a Korean get beat in Judo by a guy from one of the break-away Soviet Republics. While the Korean was on all fours, the winner sat on him like a horse and raised both hands in victory. I cant imagine Phelp's victory yell could have been half as annoying or humiliting to anyone as that. I suggest a new question of the day.

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TPOJ and undeciededbout08 I totally agree. After all... I'm an arrogant American.

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Dudes!, He didn't win the race, the anchor man of a four man team overcame a half body length lead in the last 25 meters to pull out the win. Doesn't matter what country you're from, anybody would be jacked after that performance!

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Topic: Epic Fail

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The guy just keeps on breaking records - he's now the winninest athlete in Olympic history.

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(Cleo) He (Kitajima) is full of confidence, of course, as he has every right to be because he's a darn good swimmer

chibaman -

And Phelps isn't? Your bias is obvious and I hereby serve your notice of disqualification.

No, Phelps is a good swimmer too, obviously. And he too has every right to be confident. If you can't tell the difference between confident and arrogant, I think that says more about you than it does about any of the swimmers. But it seems you're not alone on this thread.

it gives you no right to come here and deny the man his victory

Sorry, I missed that bit of news. The US relay team has been stripped of its gold because JT readers don't like over-the-top displays of arrogance? When did that happen?? No one is denying the man his victory. Simply commenting on his attitude, is all.

And now undecided reminds us that one arrogant swimmer isn't quite as bad as 30 thousand drunken football hooligans. Duh....

seansezso -

I didn't see that Judo bout, but it sounds like the winner broke the Judo rules of etiquette. That's a sport where they certainly are expected to get up, adjust their dress, bow and shake hands. A victory salute sitting on his opponent's back is a definite no-no. I'm surprised he wasn't reprimanded.

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You should see what the American team just did in the 200m x 4 relay. These American golds will have this thread a burning today!! Whoooohhhh!! Go Baby!!!

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I would equally criticise (and be embarrassed by) a British swimmer behaving in that way when winning. The difference is that it would come as rather more of an unpleasant surprise if they did.

The rest of the world marvels in Phelps' achievements, just as they did in Thorpe's, but pity he has to spoil it by making himself look stupid, that's all

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I can't beleive how much attention this guy is getting because he cheered for his team!

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Phelps is American, and it's cool to get mad at whatever Americans do. I want to be cool, so I say it's BAD.

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If you can't tell the difference between confident and arrogant, I think that says more about you than it does about any of the swimmers.

Is there some support for this statement other than the victory yell? Because there's a bit of difference between genuine arrogance and a momentary, adrenaline fueled burst of celebration.

And no, what someone does for a couple of seconds in the heat of the moment is NOT an indication of the kind of person they are.

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I just saw a photo on the Beijing 2008 web site of Phelps shaking hands with the competitor in the next lane after winning another gold. Doesn't look very arrogant to me.

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I would equally criticise (and be embarrassed by) a British swimmer behaving in that way when winning. The difference is that it would come as rather more of an unpleasant surprise if they did.

I realize people like you and cleo still like to think that Olympians of any nation, because they are competing in an 'international' athletic event, should somehow observe outdated Birtish ideas about decorum but I'm sorry - a long yell or even a 'yelp' after victory, like a victory lap (or even like putting your hand to your ear after a goal to get your fans going) falls pretty clearly under Cultural Relativity 101 in my book.

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I loved it.

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And undecided continues to show that he simply doesn't get it. No one is asking anyone to 'observe outdated Birtish(?) ideas about decorum'. No one is complaining about a long yell or even yelp after victory. No one is putting down the victory lap.

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No, that's wrong. It really would be more surprising from a Brit, since they have a better reputation for not being arrogant.

In sports, perhaps. But saying something like that when criticizing arrogance is pretty much undiluted hypocrisy.

Oh yes, and having done a bit of research on this...this is not typical behavior for Phelps. There's a clip on YouTube of him breaking a World Record and barely registering emotion.

What was different this time? Well, I dunno, how about coming in from behind and defeating someone who has been talking sh** about you and your country at the last possible second in front of millions of people?

Some people need to stop being all right about stuff for a bit and think about the second to second mechanics of what they expect from this guy. Olympic competition, millions upon millions watching, competing with someone who has been taunting you, last second snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, insane amounts of adrenaline running through your body. Oh, but make sure you're nice.

It's very easy to have, uh, "standards" when you're on the other side of the TV. Judging this guy for that reaction in those circumstances belies a lack of understanding of human nature so overwhelmingly complete that I'm amazed we're part of the same species.

Would some people react differently? Yep. People are different. Thinking that a situation like this is a useful indicator of personal integrity is so utterly removed from reality that I don't really know what else I can say.

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Apparently Naruki Oni has never seen a British soccer star pull his shirt over his face and run around the pitch like a moron after scoring a goal.

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And undecided continues to show that he simply doesn't get it. No one is asking anyone to 'observe outdated Birtish(?) ideas about decorum'. No one is complaining about a long yell or even yelp after victory. No one is putting down the victory lap.

Did he say they were? I'm seeing comparisons to things that people aren't criticizing. If they WERE criticizing them, there wouldn't be much of a comparison to make.

Still waiting for an answer on this question:

Is there some support for this statement other than the victory yell?

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Of course, Phelps' 'yelling' is hardly the only human interest angle in the story of his rise.

He has come a long way from the days when he was bullied endlessly about his oversized ears and lisp.

American swimmer Michael Phelps, who today collected his third gold medal in as many days, was also diagnosed as a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which ended up being a blessing in disguise.

He was prescribed the drug Ritalin and took to swimming, partly because both his sisters were accomplished in the pool, but also to find an outlet for his hyperactivity.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1043819/From-bullying-victim-golden-boy-rise-human-dolphin-Michael-Phelps.html

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defeating someone who has been talking sh** about you and your country

I understand the French swimmers (one of the French swimmers) said that France was going to 'smash' the Americans. Fightin' talk certainly, but hardly 'talking sh**' about either a person or a country. And in fact nothing more than an echo of what the Americans were saying they were going to do to the Aussies in Sydney 2000. Goose, gander....

We all know and understand about the insane amounts of adrenaline. Some amount of craziness is expected. They all do it. No problem. But the body language and facial expressions of the US team (not just Phelps) when the relay race was over struck me as being of a type with the moronic soccer star, except that swimmers don't have shirts to pull over their faces.

Still waiting for an answer on this question: Is there some support for this statement (If you can't tell the difference between confident and arrogant, I think that says more about you than it does about any of the swimmers) other than the victory yell?

I'm not sure what you mean about a victory yell being 'support' for a statement of opinion....look the words up in a dictionary, there's a clear difference between confident and arrogant.

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I'd say there's nothing wrong with the yelling. Anybody who has been in competitive sports will know that there is a lot of energy involved and it just shows whole-hearted exhilaration.

I grunt (unintentionally) when I hit the ball in softball or when when I sometimes swat the ball away at my opponent's shot playing basketball.

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A silly question like this one deserves to get people's thoughts more than a victory yell. (chuckle).

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I imaginning them pulling their one-piece speedos over their heads......pretty funny!

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swimmers are goofy people: they swim for about 1/2 their life = you can't expect these people to act too normally. Same can be said for the French -bizarre people.

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"Swimmers are goofy people"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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Hey Badsey, "Swimmers" and "The French". Cool, I always thought it was "The French" and "Germans on beach holidays" but hey, swimmers works too.

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techall:

Apparently Naruki Oni has never seen a British soccer star pull his shirt over his face and run around the pitch like a moron after scoring a goal.

he / she probably hasn't because they hardly ever do that - it's more of a Continental or South American-type goal celebration. Plus go too far and you'll get booked.

PS it's called 'football' - and we have a right to say that since like so many of the sports that the world enjoys, we invented it...

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Oh, yes! It was great! It made me wish I was American. Why is this a forum question?

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After having read over all of these comments, I fully agree with TPOJ. It's clear that some people have some kind of axe to grind re: the Americans for goodness only knows what reason.

TPOJ's post at 1:18pm, with this statement:

Olympic competition, millions upon millions watching, competing with someone who has been taunting you, last second snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, insane amounts of adrenaline running through your body.

is a completely rational explanation (as if one were needed!) for Phelps' reaction.

Those that follow, with the same repetitive whinging, stink of sour grapes or something else, I don't know what.

And no, I'm not American.

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Obviously you naysaying TV jockeys have never done anything remotely physically challenging, otherwise you'd understand how good it feels to let loose as bellowing a yell as you could muster after overcoming a large physical hurdle on the path to sweet victory.

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What's wrong with celebrating a victory by "yelling?". The volleyball players do it every time they score a point!

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How about the yelling on EACH SHOT by the beautiful Maria Sharapova? THough I love her looks dearly, the noise is more distracting than one long and loud swimmers hurrah.

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i can do the phelps - 0!! see? he looks like a turkey at this moment. are the swimmers in general checked for doping before or after? just wondering.

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oh, what did Spitz get after his gold medal winning streak in the U.S.? why, he's a stockbroker today. omg.

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Cleo: Kitajima of course is the first kind. He's full of confidence, of course, as he has every right to be because he's a darn good swimmer, but it doesn't come across as arrogance and it's easy to join him in celebrating his win.

I'm not sure which one was Phelps, but the cock-crowing after the US team snatched the 400m relay gold struck me as being the second kind. There was something aggressive and boorish about it, and it didn't leave a favourable impression.

Oooh boy! What a surprise that post was. Why didn't you just type Kitajima is Japanese and therefore great. Phelps is American and therefore I dislike him. You would've saved yourself some time.

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He is not real human. He was born from another planet.

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Why didn't you just type Kitajima is Japanese and therefore great. Phelps is American and therefore I dislike him.

Because it wouldn't be true; but it seems some people are still stuck in the 'with us or agin us' mentality. Any criticism of any action by any American is an attack on the whole country? Grow up. Animal Whatsizname and the Kameda clan are also Japanese, but they're far from great.

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The lady doth proteset too much so please, Cleo, stop. I'm embarassed for you. It's not as if I disagree with everything or even most things you post but if anyone should grow up, it's you. Your anti-American bias is so obvious it ought to embarass you, especially considering you've admitted never even having been to the country.

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I think its fine when he screams in victory. After all, aren't all Americans loud and boisterous?

That Aiちゃん'S (ping pong/table tennis) victory cry though I could do without.

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Wake up Guys! Be mature now! Today is an extraordinary moment for more than 100 yrs of Olympic history. No one has claimed the 10 medals in one game yet. Michale is electrifying the earth. Beijing sky got thunders because of him.

I am not a fan of the Michale however I feel his body structure is so lean & fatless. His movement in the water likes a Torpedo. His back has very wide span.I have never seen anyone like that except late Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was born in America too.

Japanese Kajima & Korean Park are also great swimmers. However they are one time winners. They may have good look & sexy. They are not great & extraordinary like Michale. In the future, I will call him Michale the great! I pay my tribute to the land which manufactured extraordinary people!

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If he was Japanese and yelled, would this be a question on Japan Today? Who cares if he yells, hollars or drops his drawers in joy, he's still the best swimmer in the world bar none!

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It seems arrogance comes hand in hand with greatness. It did seem a bit over the top but it's not uncommon these days to see high achievers in whatever field behave that way. It's a while since society has expected anything from it's role models. Ho hum.

The guy's done well, he's earned his medals and a pat on the back. It's ok for his countrymen to bask in his achievement and I think particularly for Michael Phelps, any show of arrogance will be quickly forgotten.

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The man is a great swimmer, I mean great as a swimmer and to be admired for his performance. But his victory yell was not a yell but an orgiastic outburst. Toning it down a bit would earn him, or, rather, would have earned him, more respect.

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The funny thing is that a lot of Americans think this is perfectly normal behaviour

for the record I am not American and did not see anything by it. Here he was looking for 8 out of 8 and it looked like they were out of it and that last guy cames from nowhere - i can see why Phelps was pleased.

Do I think he is the best Olympian due to his huge medal haul - no. If he does over the course of 4 or 5 Olympics then I will change my mind...

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As a simple observation and as a 'reserved' Englishman, I find this a very 'Japanese' question. Yes, generally the Americans are very vocal in Celebrations, but nothing wrong with that (not that I would be so exuberant!). On the other hand it's sometimes very difficult as a Gaijin to judge any situation, as the Japanese are guarded in showing any emotion, let alone 'letting go' and celebrating victory after years of personal hardship and training to reach that one moment and win Gold.

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5 for 5. He can do whatever he wants.

The guy is a stud. Bar none. We're lucky to see this historical performance.

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Michael Phelps just collected his 11th career gold medal. USA!! USA!! USA!!

RR

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"The guy is a stud"

I bet the Princess will be here shortly to confirm that.

"his 11th career gold medal"

Yeah, baby!

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DepAir65:

"If he does over the course of 4 or 5 Olympics then I will change my mind..."

Dude, this is swimming! 4 or 5 olympics is 16 to 20 years. This is not a sport for the well seasoned. Carrying dominance over two olympics is quite an accomplishment for swimmers. This guy is the real deal as far as "the best" goes.

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The yells carry a psychological caveman message.

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What I was wondering about is... Why don't they make the disciplines "95m swimming", "90m swimming", "85m swimming", "80m swimming", and "75m swimming"? That would give Phelps even more medals! :P

If there were as many running disciplines as for swimming some guys could get 20 or more medals!

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The more medals the louder you can get? I don't think so.

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Quite simply, Phelps and the rest of the American team brought the Word of God with them. They are opening it up on the rest of the world. The greatest American to ever live, Jesus Christ, must be very proud as he stares down from Mt Rushmore.

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And if you believe he is doeing this all without doping, who probably also believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

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"The yells carry a psychological caveman message"

"I'm the fastest swimmer in the world!"

kimigano - Great post! Ha ha ha!

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Okay, here is a comment from an Aussie who would have loved to have seen the Australian team win.

Do you people realize how good, no how great this guy is? You are witnessing the greatest swimmer in history? Do you also know how hard someone like that trains? Let the man shout!

Also, it was a relay event. He wasn't just being arrogant, he was celebrating his country, his team winning. He was no doubt thrilled, amazed, pumped -whatever you want to say about the last guy who swam and came from behind and swam the fastest 100 meters in relay history (correct me if I am wrong), and saw his team win against old rivals and in record time.

So my answer, his yelling is probably only annoying to people who wanted their country to win. I'm not American, but truly think this guy is amazing. Congratulations to the yanks! I hope he gets his eight, and will be happy to see it live. Something tells me I will be here to see him win more in four years time.

P.S Ai Chan's yelling everytime she wins a point in ping pong is annoying. Phelp's yell I can understand.

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I'm sure Kitajima does a victory yell too. Only, he does it while he's still in the pool.

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So Phelps should've jumped back in the pool to give his victory yell?

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Like rude comments matter, he's good no doubt about that!!!!! And about him doping, give me a break. He is one of the athletes who volunteered for extra testing as a subject to develope better testing methods to catch people who are actually doping. I just don't undestand how people who dope can feel good about themselevs after winning a medal or anyone that breaks the rules. It is no surprise that the Chinese are winning gold in gymnastics. The rule now is that you have to be 16 and it is obvious and bloggers in China have revealed that although China produced passports and documentation that they are all 16 most are not. It is even believed that some are not even 14. Last Olympics Chinese bloggers posted 3 of China's female gymnasts ages at under 16. If you follow the rules and win that is great but breaking them and feeling good well, that is just pathetic. There was that N. Korean gymnast last Olympics that was caught when it was realized that for the last 3 Olympics her papers said she was 15. Anything that gives a country an unfair advantage by breaking the rules should feel ashamed but I doubt they do considering that they cheated.

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unfortunately with sport people just tend to presume that the athletes are rather dull. Michael has been very enterprising in circumventing this by showing that he really is an inarticulate moron

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Michael Phelps deserved his victory yell, and I don't find him arrogant at all. I think he's been a great athlete, and a good role model for kids. I admire his attitude at the Athens olympics in being a team player. If you want to talk about arrogance, it would be Gary Hall Jr in his "Captain Defiance" suit at the past olympics. Like in the other posts, many other athletes yell all the time. I'm a taiko player and Japanese living in the US, you should come and see how noisy we all get with all our yelling. Will you find us arrogant as well?

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Let me first say that the question is the stupidest one ever asked.

The mods know how to push buttons. As do many of the readers. And the cycle begins and some people make money, but most people just waste their time and lives.

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Nothing; because I don't watch sports. I prefer to read about sports than to watch them.

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Last I checked the games are in China not Japan. I'm not aware of any cultural issues with the host country and jubilant display by Phelps. I think people are going to be hard pressed to actually cite a reason why he was out of order by any countries standards.

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I think he's entitled to every decibel he can belt out.

All the crap he dealt with as a child, the teasing and ridicule.

He might also be saying, "SEE ME NOW?!!"

Damn good champion. < :-)

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He can yell all he likes. Just pull up your swim trunks, man.

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i dont think about it

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I don't see what the big deal is. Phelps is just a good swimmer. He didn't invent a cure for cancer, solve world hunger, etc. He's just a jock who likes to act like a moron.

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You guys are getting it wrong. His victory yell was a primal moment of elation after watching his teammate overcome the french swimmer in the final leg of the that realy event. He doesn't ususally celebrate that way in his individual events and was completely overjoyed at the team and its dramatic win in an event where they were not favored to win. Many olympic viewers and commentators have called that finish one of the best ever and likely most dramatic of these games.

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Michael phelps has potential to get rich, victory shout, helps him make more dollars.

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instead of yelling he should just blankly stare into the camera (menacingly) for a few seconds --> this says "who's next" or ""I just kicked your butt" in a more universal way and it sort of keeps all those fans at a distance thereby reserving him more energy to kick more $$$.

Swimmers can be so intimidating in those Speedos.

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It's a pity that some people will see this, and instead of celebrating his undoubted brilliance as a swimmer, will see him as just another offensive, noisy American fool

would equally criticise (and be embarrassed by) a British swimmer behaving in that way when winning. The difference is that it would come as rather more of an unpleasant surprise if they did.

Strange Ive always heard it as the offinsive Noisy cocky British Fool...but we wont hear much from the british in this Olympics will we?

I'm not sure what you mean about a victory yell being 'support' for a statement of opinion....look the words up in a dictionary, there's a clear difference between confident and arrogant.

Just so you know cleo your not even close on the use of either of these words.. Both would be used before the race not after. So phelps yell after the race isnt a show of cofidence nor arrogance as they are not before an action nor during an action. They are more of a victory cry.

PS it's called 'football' - and we have a right to say that since like so many of the sports that the world enjoys, we invented it...

Wrong again it was originally created in China like most things the British stole from them....

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#

seimei at 11:48 AM JST - 13th August

"If you win an Olympic gold medal you ARE better than everyone else. Yell, scream, dance, do a hand stand, whatever you want, it's you're moment and everyone else can go to hell."

Of course there are no swimmers in the world who have zero interest in competitive swimming, who could outdo a gold medal winner. You heard it on TV. It must be true.

Anyway, pride I can whole-heartedly respect, arrogance I loathe.

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It's only a problem to the losers, if you win you can do what you want I say.

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too much testosterone after farmaceutical intervention??

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Phelps quote -

"It's not over yet - I am not unbeatable and anything can happen in the next three events."

So he's not really arrogant. More's the pity he's given so many people that impression. Let's see how he acts when (if) he loses. That's the litmus test of a truly great athlete.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympics/swimming/7559276.stm

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So he's not really arrogant.

Your rhetoric has taken a turn now that you've bothered to familiarise yourself with who this thread is actually about.

That's the litmus test of a truly great athlete.

Gee I hope he passes your armchair test.

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There's no 'rhetoric'. The question at the top of the thread is about his actions on winning a race. The actions of the winning US relay team were still pretty off-putting. If it makes him look like an arrogant loudmouth when he isn't really, then maybe he would be well advised to temper his behaviour somewhat so that we can see what a nice guy he is without having to go squirrelling around looking for info. Maybe he and his team-mates will act in a more mature manner in London. I hope so. They'll be four years older.

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too much testosterone after farmaceutical intervention??

Until there is proof of that, I would feel ashamed to even suggest that. You do realize that there is testosterone in food, right?

he would be well advised to temper his behaviour somewhat so that we can see what a nice guy he is without having to go squirrelling around looking for info. Maybe he and his team-mates will act in a more mature manner in London.

I'm not sure which race you're talking about. I saw the 4x100 men's freestyle relay. I was surprised at how restrained Lezak's teammates were. I would have done a triple axel flip into the pool the instant Lezak touched the wall. Then, I would have climbed out of the pool and made a smashing gesture at the non-American Elaine Barnyard.

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I think DZKUN808 must be correct. I watched a replay of one of Phelps wins. The bloke was as cool as a cucumber.

So, if DZKUN808 is correct, JT has completely messed this question up.

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I'm not sure which race you're talking about. I saw the 4x100 men's freestyle relay.

That's the one.

I would have done a triple axel flip into the pool the instant Lezak touched the wall.

...and got your team disqualified 'cos other teams were still coming in...... :-0

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This question is probably unfair to Michael Phelps. I have only seen the final of the relay in which, if he hadn't yelled, I would have considered him desensitized. Does he really yell like that after all of the races as Japan Today's loaded question suggests?

I don't remember Mark Spitz doing this, back in the days when the rewards were miniscule in comparison to those on offer today. Dignity is a virtue, I concur with Cleo

Do you consider Mark Spitz dignified and his rewards miniscule?

Spitz made about $7.5 million within a year of winning seven gold medals much of it from a beefcake poster with him in a speedo and seven gold medals draped across his chest. That would be $37,161,971.83 in 2008 dollars back when the dollar was worth something. The reason he quit swimming was that he was so busy with commercial endorsements.

He has recently been quoted in the press as saying he, too, could have won eight gold medals. He also complained that he was snubbed by the IOC for not inviting him to Beijing as their guest.

He is also a botox addict.

He doesn't wear his trademark mustache anymore because it's too gray.

I'll never forget what Spitz did, though, in 1972. It was really exciting.

Michael Phelps seems very humble in interviews on TV. I see nothing arrogant or off-putting by his behavior in the least.

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I would have done a triple axel flip into the pool the instant Lezak touched the wall. ...and got your team disqualified 'cos other teams were still coming in...... :-0

I would have landed about 15 meters away which would have taken at least five seconds, long enough for even the Brits to finish.

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This question is probably unfair to Michael Phelps.

Agreed. It was all four team members, not just (or particularly) Phelps, and it wasn't so much the yelling (they all do that) as the in-your-face body language that was offputting. As was mentioned higher up the thread, reminiscent of moronic football players but without the shirts.

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Let's just hope we don't hear down the track that he's been juiced all along.

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boy after skimming this thread I can see my decision to stop watching tv 3yrs ago is still a good one!

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Any victory cry from the spirit of fair play and sport probably donates more to humanity than any criticism that may follow.

A sports person is usually about doing their best first, always, naturally some ears may be offended.

Mute question.

Congratulations Mr. Phelps.

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It's a celebration. He didn't point in their faces or splash water at them he yelled and cheered for his time. Like some one said earlier. The girl who plays ping pong yells at every point shem makes, does that mean she is arrogant and disrespectful? It is a sport. Let them be happy and celebrate with out offending anyone. I have seen a lot of people yell and scream and no one is pointing at them. If you played sports you would have some idea of what is going on.

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GW - By not watching any TV, you have not only missed seeing Phelps set several Olympic/world records, you missed a really great volleyball match last night!

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The girl who plays ping pong yells at every point shem makes, does that mean she is arrogant and disrespectful?

No, she just gets up the nose and makes people switch channels.

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That extended roar that came out of his hole was just too animalistic in its aggression. You could never imagine Spitz engaging in such a Neanderthal display; footage of his '72 victories shows him reaching to shake his opponent in the next lane by the hand. He's still a boy is Phelps, even though Spitz was younger when he got 7 he was more of a man.

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boy after skimming this thread I can see my decision to stop watching tv 3yrs ago is still a good one!

Congrats GW. Next, get rid of your PC.

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Just watched 2004 Athens 200 m free. Thorpie let out a loud yell and pumped his fist. What doooooosh.!

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Four medals not enough in Mexico (Spitz) A year before the Mexico Olympiad, he beat the world 400m record and promptly declared that he would win six gold medals at the Games.

So stating you will win six gold medals in your first ever Olympics(after getting a world record in that year) isnt arrogant, but yelling after wining a come from behind race is arrogant... I think we have to stop using Spitz as an example of the perfect winner..

footage of his '72 victories shows him reaching to shake his opponent in the next lane by the hand.

I would hope he shaked his hand he was another American swimmer!!! He also yelled and pumped his fist in the video of his third gold in that Olympics (1972)

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Sarge

Probably not much phelps footage on J-tv, I am sure it was fun to watch but I am fine catching bits in the paper etc

hellokitty

my my arent we testy, me thinks you something to calm you down, maybe tossing yr boob tube will help alleviate some of yr pent up stress, best of luck with that!

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That relay had one of the best finishes in sporting history. The only people who think Phelps appeared arrogant are probably a few nasty people who read japantoday.

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I T's G R E A T !

E X U B E R A N T !

F A N T A S T I C O !

K O H U M S H I M A S !

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Who cares, the guy just won a tough race and made an exclamation of joy, pride, whatever. It was actually a race where the American's weren't favored so I'm sure there was some added excitement.

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Anyone who thinks Phelps was being boorish or cocky needs to look at the statements of the French downplaying the AMerican's success. More Eurocentric tearing down of others.

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I thought it was great, he was ecstatic as his team mate came from nowhere to win and shove it down the French guys throat.

How about this question, what did you think of the really loud high pitched squeals from the Australian womans team in after victory in the 4x200m relay? I found that alot more annoying than the greatest swimmer in history showing his emotions.

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Michael phelps victory hell did some good, it made JT readers break record with 124 posts on this topic, outdoing Obama/Mccain topic, posts.

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Phelps is greatest and strongest of all time ... lets cherish such a human being he can prove our human and humane capacity ... one medalist threw his bronze medal. that's a shame and disgrace.

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i appreciate some of you had time and care to prove phelps is ordinary like others, by checking old clips from 1970s

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At first glance the whole question seems strange, and it seems strange that so many people are commenting on it. But if you look at all the posts you can see that it's a brilliant question and the responses show a lot about what people think about sportsman, sportsmanship and dare I say it, Americans.

I still think that the detractors are probably mostly people who have not excelled, or won much in sports. And definitely not at such a high level. As someone said too, swimmers are strange. It takes a certain kind of person to swim up and down a pool for hours each day throughout your childhood, everyday dreaming and visualizing the Olympics. It's a dream. So when they win or lose finally at the events that they've been dreaming of, its often 4, 8 sometimes the culmination of more than 20 years of dreaming and hard work on a level we can't understand. So they jump up and down, cry, you name it. Also, a lot of the commenters here don't understand the history of these events. If there was over celebration, its because its a team event. The Aussie girls went crazy - together! Four people winning like that - and in world record time is what does it. And Phelps and the Aussie girls are also extra exuberant because of the rivalry between the teams. Phelps was extra happy to beat the French and the Australians, and the Aussie girls in the 4 by 200 not only won, but they beat the Americans.

Okay now, I will make enemies. I suspect Phelp's detractors are mainly from countries which don't have much sporting excellence. I could name them, but you know who you are. Especially one country I can think of DID used to get a lot of golds, but that was back in the days when the olympics was fun for rich white guys - jolly old chaps who were no doubt great losers and humble winners. But now, you just don't understand winning and winners! Ponder on that and have a nice day!

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GW,

My conscience won't let me toss the electronic babysitter as grammama forked out many thousands of dollars for it. I kick my sand bag, lift my kettlebells or do chin ups to release stress. I've been watching the Olympics on my i-mac by the way.

You don't have any actual opinions on the topic, do you? Give it a try. I'll certainly reply. A little intellectual bruising will do you some good. Here's an example: Michael Phelps is a great teammate. He yells louder for them than he does for himself. I found one video that isolated on Phelps during Lezak's stretch run. He was pulling so hard for his team that he was shaking uncontrollably. He's the best thing about this Olympics and Japan Today is trying to make him look bad.

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I don't know about yelling but, can't fault the man for giving it his all, thats all any of us can do in any situation. Why can't people give credit where credit is due. So many people hating on people who are sucessful, I don't care about the nationality, I just lie to see people perform at thier best.

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I am not sure of what Phelps would look like with a mustache (Spitz), but if they pay him 27mil for some cheesy Speedo spreads -I say go for the Gold.

As of now he is the number 1 (#1, ichiban) selection for the Wheaties box.

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usaexpat - if Phelps had pulled out a gun and shot a few people in the front row in celebration, I suspect you'd forgive his "exuberance", so I hardly think we can consider yours an unbiased view. Similarly, if a Frenhman had done the same, you'd be whining, I know

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Perhaps the primal hoot stirred some from their slumber. Now the sub-conscious is trying to hide the fact, after the fact.

Whatever, I am not whining about Michael Phelps winning, actually If I were him I'd give Lezak one of my golds.

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Howling and war-whooping just seems to be natural behaviour for Americans (as is yelling at each other during 'private' conversations on trains.) Unfortunately the rest of the world always ends up apeing Americans (except the French - doffs hat) so I expect eventually we'll all be acting like prats when we win something. (The Brits being exempt through 1) natural decorum and 2) never winning anything.)

:-)

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frontandcentre... seems you are too eager to declare any thing American as bad so if an American saved you from your doom you would say he didnt do it right.. Dont throw stones cause you may shatter your glass house.

Enjoy your countries victories no matter how few they are and silent they are celebrated, but dont talk trash about an American who has done the impossible and yelled for 9 seconds after a 32 year old swimmer came from behind to win. He wasnt yelling for himself it was for his team mates. So sit down drink some tea and eat a biscuit cause Phelps did it again and you should watch it maybe you can learn what type of a guy he is for real

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Howling and war-whooping just seems to be natural behaviour for Americans (as is yelling at each other during 'private' conversations on trains.) Unfortunately the rest of the world always ends up apeing Americans (except the French - doffs hat) so I expect eventually we'll all be acting like prats when we win something. (The Brits being exempt through 1) natural decorum and 2) never winning anything.)

So you asked them are you American? I have been on a train with a group of french men and woman and I couldnt hear the train over them yelling back and forth at each other.

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I'd be a-whoopin and a-yelpin and a-hollerin too if'n I had won me more individual gold medals than all a Team Engerland combined.. An then I'd scour the stands, lookin for mah prezident, and I'd give a big ol Texayass howl -- Hoooooaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh - Gissome Dubya!!!!!!!!

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Can't be bothered to read all the above 136 posts, so don't know if I am repeating anybody. But watching the Olympics, it seems that his reaction when he wins an individual event is very different from when he wins a relay event. When he wins a relay event, he seems very happy and over the top- ie. long victory yell, happy to be part of a team. When he wins an individual event, pretty low key. Same as anybody, American or otherwise.

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frontandcentre a little over the top maybe? Again typical European arrogance even in the face of defeat. Had the French won I would have congratulated them as well, even if the team did a victory yell.

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Talk about a loaded question. If you've watched Phelps much, you'd know his "long victory yell after he wins a race" is a rarity.

Phelps is rather humble, considering his accomplishment.

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140 comments for Phelps another record to be set here. Phelps long victory yell, may help him to run for congress seat.

He will make a good congressman/future president.

He also gets along very well with kids and is very humble good, which is plus point for US politics.

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Phelps has won his 7th, beating his Croatian rival by 1/100th of a second.

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Yeah, baby! USA! USA! USA!

Did you know Phelps listens to hip hop music on his ipod until 2 minutes before starting his races?

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"1/100th of a second"

A real blow-out! Ha ha ha! Now, if his rival had come withn 1/1000th of a second, that would be close...

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Too bad some find it necessary to cheapen Phelps achievement's and the whole spirit of the Olmpics with their anything-but-humble jingoism.

Shame on you.

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If it makes him look like an arrogant loudmouth when he isn't really, then maybe he would be well advised to temper his behaviour somewhat so that we can see what a nice guy he is

First off.... it's a swimming contest, not a "nice guy" contest. Part of the qualifying thru the years does not include anything about being nice. Who gives a crap how nice he is?

Secondly, it damn funny that those of you in this forum talking about him being loud, arrogant, etc... aren't in China competing. After all, if you were to practice for YEARS as much as any of THEM did.... kept raising your level of play... kept practicing thru injury and everything else... and THEN smashed a world record to become WORLD CHAMPION (much less in 7 events)... THEN you might have some credibility when it comes your ideas on how an Olympic champion should behave.

Until then, your all suffering from the sports world's version of peni$ envy.

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The anti-America crowd here is upset because Michael Phelps has won more gold medals than the entire teams representing their home countries. Heh, being forced to hear the U.S. National Anthem over and over and over again at the Olympics must really bug them.

RR

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First off.... it's a swimming contest, not a "nice guy" contest.

Fair enough. Then why are so many people falling over themselves to tell us what a nice guy he is, or trying to explain/justify less-than-classy behaviour?

peni$ envy??

I don't think so.He was put on Ritalin at age 9 to help control his ADHD, and his family used swimming for the same purpose, to control his hyperactivity. As a rising star his coach put him through a 'sadistic' training regime that had the boy so strung up the occasional lost race would send him into a tantrum. He was not allowed to enjoy sledding in high school because his sponsors Speedo might not approve of a broken leg; not allowed to go bowling in case it affected his stroke; and - the coup de grace to any thoughts of p-envy - not allowed to have a girlfriend in case it drained his 'emotional energy'.

So good for him in overcoming his illness and being spectacularly successful in his chosen field. But envy? No.

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The fact remains, that all those things are MORE of a reason to celebrate his VASTLY successful 2008 Olympic achievements. Maybe you can hop in a pool sometime, whip him at whatever distance you'd like, and then show him how to be graceful in winning.

Or maybe you can realize (but who am I kidding), that suffering thru those things to him seem a bit "less" now that he has won, and he is celebrating having lived thru hell and still coming out on top. After all, he's beat EVERYONE who didn't have ADHD, go thru a training regime like that, was able to sled, etc....

Besides... I didn't say HE had p-envy... I insinuated that YOU had it because, unlike him, your not a world champion in 1 event. Much less 7 and probably 8 before it's over with. Yet, YOU think you know how a world champion should behave.

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all those things are MORE of a reason to celebrate his VASTLY successful 2008 Olympic achievements

Never said they weren't. As I said, good for him. But rather than be envious of someone who has undergone problems, I'm thankful not to have had his problems in the first place.

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Cleo - "( Phelps was ) not allowed to have a girlfriend"

He has a girlfriend. Hee hee!

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Sarge -

He has one now? Good for him! Looks like she gave his emotional energy a boost instead of draining it like his coach feared!

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USARonin, franknbeans,

You two are funny.

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there is no reason to act up. Phelps beefcake posters will be out soon and the large Olympic Wheaties boxes are still priced under $5.

-Please be patient.

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All in all, this thread has shown there are a lot of patrons of this site who aren't sports people and just don't get it.

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8 for 8!

All the dissenters, US haters, and trash talkers can put THAT in their pipes and smoke it.

Phelps is the GREATEST EVER!

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Yep... the "arrogant" one has his 8 gold medals. Who wouldn't be arrogant with not only at attempt like that, but actually pulling it off?

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8 for 8! Yeah, baby!

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superlatives:

Phelpsian Phelptastic Phelpstanding Awephelpsome Phelpsariffic. Marvelphelps. or just plain Phelps.

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Lucky number 8! That it was a team effort just seals the deal.

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Flammenwerfer, you last two posts were excellent. Spot on.

And Phelps, go ahead and yell. You did what everyone thought was impossible. Thanks for the inspiration!

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"but we wont hear much from the british in this Olympics will we?"

With all the medals they won over the weekend you must be smarting. Again Blighty punches well above it's weight!

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He didn't yell long, or not all, each time after he won. However, he yelled longest after he won the relays, because it seems he really enjoys winning with a team than just by himself.

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Er... Mark spits, Michael yelps... it's a sad day when such a thread makes it to the very top of the JT Popular thread list.

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Happy to say I made a terribly wrong assumption. I thought the days of English sporting glory was over, but the medal count shows the Brits have made a come back. What's happening over there??

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