Tianjin, CHINA: Olympic swimming superman Michael Phelps, after winning a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, was finally released to the ocean yesterday in a display of affection by his long-time coach Bob Bowman. The release ceremony was held off of the shores of Tianjin just hours after the closing ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing.
“It was an exciting moment for all of us. For a moment we thought it may not happen because of China’s strict policies of travel past the Yellow Sea, but we finally obtained the necessary travel documentation. We wouldn’t have wanted Michael to be shot before getting to the Pacific Ocean,” Bowman explained.
Michael enjoyed a tearful goodbye with his Olympic teammates as well as his mother, Debbie Phelps, but promised to return home. “Everything is just coming at me so fast right now, I feel I need to regroup and figure some things out. I think some alone time, swimming the oceans of the world, will help me reflect on my accomplishments, and life in general,” Mr. Phelps stated before diving head-long off a pier in Tianjin.
Although sponsors have been lining up the endorsements for the swimmer, they understand his predicament, and have decided to give Michael Phelps all the time he needs to get his act together. “The way I see it, this can only raise the social awareness of this young man. Think of the advertising that could come about with ‘Mikie Sightings’! It’s like Bigfoot, the Loch-Ness Monster, and Tony Danza all rolled into one!” exclaimed Speedo® representative Todd Billups.
Already the “Mikie Sightings” have begun. Sunday night an old fisherman, Katsu Matsumashu, had suffered a heart attack while fishing off the coast of Japan. Witnesses at the port of Wakkanai saw a “silvery apparition” pulling Matsumashu’s boat by its teeth to the pier, and swimming quickly away. Upon resuscitation, Matsumashu recalled “a voice speaking English, promising me that I would be alright.”
On Monday morning, naval officers of the United States aircraft carrier Liberty 4 were greeting by a playful Michael Phelps continually leaping from the water as he passed the massive ship. “It was a beautiful thing to wake up to see such a mammal having fun in the ocean,” Captain Ronald Wheeler explained.
It is believed that Michael Phelps’ route will continue southeast, with occasional detours to swim close to the shores of North and South America. From there he may swim home, or continue northeast to Europe. Whatever his course, we wish him well.