Originally posted on The I in Team  |  Last updated 7/11/12

Olympian Tyler Clary has officially made a name for himself. He’s called out Michael Phelps for, well this is a portion of what he said:

The fact that he doesn’t have to work as hard to get that done, it’s a real shame,” Clary told the paper. “I think it’s too bad. You see that all too often, where you get athletes that are incredibly talented that really take it for granted. I think the things he could have done if he’d worked as hard as I do would have been even more incredible than what he has pulled off.

I think we can all agree that Phelps is a prodigious swimming talent. There’s a reason he won freaking 8 gold medals in Beijing. Clary, though, is selling him thoroughly short. It’s farcical to think that someone can pull off that type of performance in such a varied group of swims against specialized competition without working at it.

I’ll concede it’s possible Phelps doesn’t quite have the eye of the tiger as he did last time around. That’s completely normal. He conquered every obstacle, he bested every challenge and was/is at the pinnacle of his sport. Hell, even Michael Jordan, a pathological competitor took a sabbatical to play baseball due to lack of fire. When you have no challenges left, your focus tends to wane.

Despite that, though, Phelps has remained dominant. Yes, Lochte bested him in one of the trials, but he qualified for the Olympics for another shot a 8 meals, again. How much better do we need to expect of him? Unless Clary was secretly trying to motivate Phelps, you better believe he’s going to get smoked in the pool in a few weeks as he will go head to head with Phelps in the 200m butterfly. (I will point out, also, that Clary didn’t qualify for the 400 IM, his best event. Perhaps he should have trained harder rather than coasting on his athletic gifts, or at least asked Phelps for some pointers as he qualified for the race).

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