- DJ Gallo, ESPN.com
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Michael Phelps plans to never get in the pool again. The greatest swimmer of all time says he will now fill his life with golf.
Golf. It doesn't matter how much you like golf, an accomplished 27 year-old planning to spend each day of his remaining 50 or 60 or 70 years on Earth playing golf is kind of depressing. There is so much more out there.
Perhaps Phelps should follow the example of famous American Olympians who have come before him. These guys didn’t waste their time playing golf all the time.
Carl Lewis: As Phelps is to the pool, Lewis was to track and field. He won 10 Olympic medals during his career, including nine golds. But instead of golfing all the time, Lewis explored his love of music, releasing this memorable music video in 1987 and treating NBA fans to our national anthem.
Paul Hamm: Hamm is the most accomplished U.S. male gymnast of his generation, winning three Olympic medals, including the men’s all-around gold in 2004. Unlike Phelps, he chose to stay active in his sport and took an assistant coaching job at Ohio State. Although he did lose that job after a Labor Day weekend 2011 incident in which he drunkenly assaulted a Columbus cab driver and told police officers: “I don't understand, I'm going to kill you guys.”
Rulon Gardner: Gardner inspired many with his upset of Russian Aleksandr Karelin in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 Games. Since those games, he lost a toe to frostbite after getting lost in the Wyoming mountains, crashed a plane into a lake and gained more than 200 pounds, qualifying him for an appearance on the reality show “Biggest Loser.”
Bruce Jenner: After taking gold in the decathlon in 1976, Jenner was just as famous as Phelps is today. Since then, his interests have been diverse. He is active in the sport of plastic surgery and has taken to wearing women’s earrings. He also married the ex-wife of one of O.J. Simpson’s attorneys and is now the patriarch of the family many see as the prime example of everything that is wrong with American culture.
You know what? Maybe playing golf every day for 70 years sounds pretty great after all. Never leave the golf course, Michael Phelps. Never ever leave the golf course.