Phelps Penalty Misses Point

Swimmer, clueless on dry land, should be forced back into pool as community service
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2009 3:32 PM CST
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps trains yesterday at the Meadowbrook Aquatic Center in Baltimore.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – US swimming authorities flopped in their decision to suspend Michael Phelps from competition, George Vecsey writes in the New York Times. Now Phelps “has more time to wander into parties and hold interesting-looking objects up to his face and say, ‘Hey, dude, what’s this?’” Instead, the Olympic golden boy should be compelled to practice and compete every day of the week.

Phelps “obviously functions better in chlorinated water than on terra firma,” where his “limited instincts of danger to his reputation and his fortune” prevent him from realizing that his high profile made him a prime target. Now short a sponsor, Phelps is learning about the pitfalls of stardom. Besides, he “was probably making way too much money” anyway, Vecsey says.