By all accounts, Michael Phelps is one of the greatest swimmers that the world, let alone the U.S., has ever known. He has won 22 Olympic medals, 18 of which are gold. That’s double the number of medals won by Olympic legends like Carl Lewis, and Mark Spitz. In this year’s London games alone, a mere 8 countries have managed to win as many gold medals as Phelps has on his own.
In short (no pun intended), Phelps’ career in the pool has been one of utter domination. (Check out Chris Chase’s Yahoo! Sports piece for more of a numerical breakdown of Olympic history in the making.)
But the big question is, how good would Phelps be at synchronized swimming? And more specifically, how would he fare against the legendary Saturday Night Live duo of Harry Shearer and Martin Short?
Sure, Phelps can swim a fast freestyle, and buttefly with the best of them, but how are his pointing skills? And how good would he be if he couldn’t swim at all, as it the case with Martin Short?
Things begin to look a bit different when seen from the sobering perspective of historical speculation. For instance, how much of an influence on Will Ferrell was Short’s and Shearer’s synchronized swim coach? And when their coach chanted, “Hey – you – I know you, I know you!” was he actually talking to a young(er) Will Ferrell?
It looks like we’ll have to wait at least until Rio 2016 to discover the answers to these questions. In the meantime, if Phelps is as set on retirement as he says he is, could he at least pick up synchronized swimming as a hobby? It would only add to his legend.