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Thorpe eclipses Phelps' destiny

Updated: August 17, 2004, 6:17 AM ET
By Eric Adelson | ESPN The Magazine

ATHENS, Greece -- Michael Phelps lifted himself out of the pool and lurched slowly away. His shoulders slumped. His jaw hung open. He placed a hand on his hip and stared ahead vacantly. Then he left.

On this night, he was a beaten man.

The 19-year-old with so much potential and promise, the Baltimore boy with endless optimism and enough ambition to carry an entire American team, had been vanquished by the one swimmer he so desperately wanted to beat. History will likely remember ...

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