Even the Best Aren't Perfect
This summer we all fell in love with Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps who won a record setting 8 gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Phelps brought the sport of swimming into the spotlight and became an American hero that children all over America look up to. The swimming god may be perfect in the pool but that however, is not true of his behavior outside the water. Pictures of Michael Phelps smoking marijuana at a college party this fall were released this weekend and Phelps' image has without a doubt been tarnished.
Phelps was in town to a see a sorority girl he was dating, but spent the entire weekend getting stoned every night, throwing down beers and smoking pot, the magazines said. "At one point someone asked him if he wanted to smoke some weed," a source told Star. "Michael didn't hesitate and headed to a small back room, where he was immediately handed a big red bong."
Phelps released this statement in response to the photographs.
“I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment,” Phelps said in the statement released by one of his agents. “I’m 23 years old and despite the successes I’ve had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.”
He promised that something like this will never happen again but this is not the first time he has made this type of mistake.
This isn’t the first embarrassing episode for Phelps after an Olympic triumph. In 2004, a few months removed from winning six gold and two bronze medals in Athens, the swimmer was arrested on a drunken driving charge at age 19. He pleaded guilty and apologized for the mistake.
You would think that if you were a national celebrity and role model to millions of teenagers and children all over the world you would be smart enough to set a better example than this. Every move of yours is being watched, how dumb do you have to be to engage in this behavior in front of cameras? The International Olympic Committee is still deciding how they will handle the situation and Phelps will likely lose lots of money from his various sponsors. In today's world we seem to look up to athletes and celebrities as if they are some type of god but situations like this prove that they are just regular people who can make mistakes just like the rest of us.