SI breaks down Phelps’ amazing finish frame-by-frame

Maybe the most memorable part of Michael Phelps’ wonderful Olympic run was the finish of the 100m butterfly. He won the race by 0.01 seconds, so the finish was too close to call even in slow motion. has a cool frame-by-frame breakdown of the last moments of the race.

Be sure to check out the whole thing, because it’s interesting to see how Phelps’ final half-stroke actually won him the race (when, at the time, he thought it was going to lose him the race). Here’s the final shot for those that still wonder if he was the first to touch the wall. Phelps is on the left.

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Phelps has the golden touch

Michael Phelps’ final stroke got his hands on the wall one-hundredth of a second ahead of Serbian Milorad Cavic to secure his seventh gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly. He swam into history by matching Mark Spitz’s record of winning seven gold medals in the 1972 Munich Games.

But it did not come without some controversy, as the Serbians filed a protest following the outcome of the race. After careful review of the race tape provided by FINA (swimming’s governing body), the Serbian delegation conceded victory to Phelps. The tape was slowed to one frame for every 10-thousandth of a second to show the American actually touching the wall first at the end of the race.

He was sluggish at the start, as Phelps was seventh (out of eight) at the turn. Then he put it into high gear, as his long arms began windmilling through the water. Phelps was able to close the gap on Cavic in no time.

Tomorrow evening, Phelps will return to swim his final event of the games, as he takes the butterfly leg of the U.S. medley relay team. The Americans are favored, so Phelps should win his record-breaking eighth gold medal. Australia has a great relay team, so it should be quite a race.

Michael Phelps still has a familiar hurdle to overcome

Michael Phelps goes for seven gold medals tonight when he swims the 100-meter butterfly, the only event in which he doesn’t hold the world record. The race is a short one, so any mistake could cost him the win. Throw in the fact that American Ian Crocker is a serious threat and you have the makings for a very interesting race.

But the story doesn’t stop there.

Crocker has held the record since July 26, 2003, when he broke it at the World Championships, and has since lowered the mark twice. Before Crocker, Phelps held the record for one day — his reign lasting from semifinals until finals the next night, when Crocker took the record, and the world title.

Phelps got revenge in Athens, beating Crocker by .04 of a second for his fifth gold medal. That left Crocker with silver to add to his bronze, which he earned earlier in the week when a poor swim on the 4x100m freestyle relay left the favored U.S. team in a disappointing third.

The next day Phelps, having earned a spot on the 4x100m medley relay by winning the 100m fly, announced he would cede his spot to Crocker. Phelps would earn a medal anyway for his butterfly swim in the preliminaries, and gave Crocker, who was the world-record holder and more experienced relay swimmer, the chance to earn gold.

“He was the fastest 100m butterflyer, and I wanted to give him the opportunity to get up and get his gold medal,” Phelps said.

Crocker and his teammates won and, with Phelps shouting from the stands, shattered the world record. After the medal ceremony, in a moment that didn’t go unnoticed, Crocker and Phelps shared a hug as the team walked by.

“It was an opportunity that it’s hard to say thank you for,” Crocker said after the race. “And I just wanted to do it justice by going out and giving it my best shot.”

So, theoretically, if Crocker were to deny Phelps his seventh gold medal by winning the 100-meter butterfly, he could offer up his spot in the 4x100m medley relay and allow Phelps to have a chance to tie Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals in one Olympiad.

It would be only fair after what Phelps did for Crocker back in 2004, right? If Crocker wins the butterfly, he’s under no obligation to give up his spot in the relay, but my guess is that he’d be under tremendous pressure to do so.

It has been a storybook Olympics for Phelps, but tonight’s race could be the toughest test he’s faced so far. If Crocker wins, he’ll have his own test to face, a moral one.

The Gold Standard Has Risen: Phelps All-time Winningest Olympian

A daily double, as Michael Phelps became the winningest Olympic athlete by capturing his 10th and 11th career gold medals.

He began his day by setting a world record in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 1:52.03, and later set a blistering pace of 1:43.31 to lead the U.S. freestyle relay team to a world record in the 800-meter. The Americans became the first team to break the seven-minute barrier with a time of 6:58.56, which shattered the old mark by more than four seconds.

He joked with reporters on his equipment malfunction in the first race. During the butterfly, his goggles became water-filled, and Phelps shrugged off the victory knowing that he could have done better. He is now halfway toward dethroning Mark Spitz and winning eight gold medals in one Olympiad.

Everyone wanted a glimpse at history, as the U.S. Basketball team cheered from their poolside seats. LeBron James posed for photos with Phelps’ mom prior to the competition.

Phelps is Three of a Kind: Wins Gold in 200 Freestyle

Three races, three gold medals, and three world records.

Michael Phelps is dominating the swimming competition at the Beijing Games, as he won the 200-meter freestyle race with a world record time of 1:42.96. He led throughout the race, with at times a full body length advantage ahead of silver medalist, Park Tae-hwan, of South Korea.

Phelps now joins fellow Americans Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis with nine career gold medals in Olympic competition. And he is 3-for-3 in his quest of breaking Spitz’s 36-year-old record of seven gold medals in one Olympiad.

There’s no rest for the wicked, as Phelps goes for his fourth gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly tomorrow evening. Oh by the way, he holds the world record in that event as well.

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