as a weekly practice I listen to npr and do a little sketch on one of the stories. take a look, you can click on the illustration to make it bigger!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Olympic Medalist Michael Phelps Tests The Water
Olympian Michael Phelps is jumping back into competition this weekend. Even non-sports fans were wowed as they watched the swimmer with the 6-foot-7 wingspan dive into the pool at last summer's Beijing Olympics and emerge with eight gold medals.
But after he returned home, the news turned to the photograph of him toking from a marijuana bong and his three-month suspension from the sport.
"He's kind of had a midlife crisis at the age of 23," USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "Since we last saw him, nine months ago when he got out of the pool in Beijing, he's made millions of dollars, he's been photographed ... with the bong and been suspended for three months. One sponsor, Kellogg's, dropped him…. I think there's a tentative feeling about what's next."
And yet, Brennan notes, Phelps said in March that "he wants to go and swim for four more years. It's a very different challenge for someone who is turning 24 next month to go till he's 27 versus what he was doing, of course, as a teenager or in his early 20s."
Phelps' fans should not be disappointed if he loses this weekend — a very real possibility. But Brennan says this weekend's competition is akin to "spring training or early season baseball." She adds that it may be hard for the swimming superstar to stay focused as he shifts from the Cube at the Beijing Olympics to the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte, N.C.
But sports fans shouldn't start the countdown yet — this weekend is merely a training race to get warmed up for the world championships trials in Indianapolis in July and the world championships in Rome later that month. Looming over the Olympian like Big Ben? The 2012 London Olympics.
-excerpt from NPR