Magazines | Michael Phelps | News | Olympics | Swimming

Michael Phelps' Spitz Take


You knew "the shot" was coming, and here it is. Michael Phelps graces the new cover of Sports Illustrated wearing his eight medals in a photograph reminiscent of the Mark Spitz photo from 1972.

I've posted the Spitz shot AFTER THE JUMP...

Unfortunately, styles have changed, and now that the medals are no longer hung from metal chains but swaths of fabric instead, it looks a bit as if Phelps is wearing a flowery halter top. Of course with $100 million hanging around my neck I'd be smiling too.


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  1. I like Phelps. There's something endearing about his aw-shucks demeanor, goofy grin, and those big ol' handles..err.. ears.

    Not crazy about that photo; the fabric necklaces look a bit too much like souvenir keychain bands. But he manages to look pretty good in every photo, even the cheesy ones.

    Spitz, on the other hand, from the neck up looks oddly like a serial killer in his "7 medals" picture. Just a wee bit of the crazy in that stare.

    Posted by: sparks | Aug 19, 2008 7:26:58 AM

  2. It's just the difference of the two eras. Spitz wears the 70's porn/disco stache and Mr. T gold...

    while Michael rocks a Shannon Doraty halter!

    Posted by: Pugzz | Aug 19, 2008 7:33:41 AM

  3. Sorry, Michael, but you have a face only a mother could love. Butt ugly, but if you allow me to put a bag over your head, I'd still give you a ride.

    Posted by: B-rod | Aug 19, 2008 7:35:46 AM

  4. He's an astonishing swimmer, but he shouldn't smile in his pictures.

    Posted by: Steven. | Aug 19, 2008 7:49:53 AM

  5. I don't hate Michael Phelps, I just don't care that he's done this. His freakish figure gave him the boost...hooray for freaks everywhere.

    I'm just upset that Matthew Mitcham failed to qualify for the finals in the Men's 3m springboard. Boo Hoo.

    Posted by: Matt | Aug 19, 2008 8:22:32 AM

  6. Phelps is a little too Gomer Pyle for my liking

    Posted by: parker | Aug 19, 2008 8:40:02 AM

  7. he's no Chad White is he?

    Posted by: A.J. | Aug 19, 2008 8:44:40 AM

  8. Spitz probably started that moustache craze that dogged the gay scene for at least the next ten years. And that hair of his is almost unforgiveable in the way it permeated the 1970's like amyl at a sauna. We're all too ready to conform to a stereotype, I'm afraid. Phelps at least has that non-hirsute face which evinces a clarity of expression and openness which is sorely needed in this superficial age.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 19, 2008 9:04:31 AM


    Posted by: 24play | Aug 19, 2008 9:14:06 AM

  10. I can't believe what I'm reading.

    This isn't the cover of fucking Italian Vogue.

    It's Sports Illustrated.

    He is arguably the best athlete ever, and not arguably among them. Should Chad White wear his medals instead?

    I'm truly ashamed and embarrassed to read such comments.

    Posted by: Dan B | Aug 19, 2008 9:14:28 AM

  11. "He's an astonishing swimmer, but he shouldn't smile in his pictures." -STEVEN.

    God forbid someone would smile because they're happy, and not to just project the right look.

    When YOU have $40 million in endorsements flowing your way, feel free to look as sad and solemn as you want,

    I'm amused by the bitter queens who can't seem to figure out that there's more than one kind of beauty, and that there are other accomplishments which warrant taking a picture than having a pretty face.

    Posted by: sparks | Aug 19, 2008 9:18:13 AM

  12. Sometimes I think that we in the gay community are too appearance-obsessed. We have effectively created an appearance demagoguery which objectifies men in the same way heterosexual men objectify women. This isn't progress, folks. We gay and bi men are acting just as sleazily and tackily as our heterosexual brothers do in relation to women. We need to stop this.

    I welcome Phelps with his unorthodox appearance. And I welcome how his appearance challenges our demagoguery and the demagoguery of Hollywood plus the fashion magazines.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 19, 2008 9:21:14 AM

  13. I guess they put out 2 covers. This one is a little cheesy, but the other one of him in the pool is breathtaking...

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 19, 2008 9:24:15 AM


    Posted by: 24play | Aug 19, 2008 9:31:04 AM

  15. One thing I really like about Phelps is that he's comfortable in a pair of Speedos. Many American men are afraid of wearing Speedos at the beach, an interesting example of stunted American male psychology. In other countries - Australia, China, Germany, Brazil - many men wear Speedos at the beach, probably about 50% or more.

    Those horrible baggy "dork shorts" that American men wear at the beach are indicative of a stunted, possibly homophobic mindset.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 19, 2008 9:35:01 AM

  16. CRISPY,

    That's the week prior - but I agree, a very cool shot.

    Posted by: Dan B | Aug 19, 2008 9:36:05 AM


    Posted by: 24play | Aug 19, 2008 9:38:56 AM

  18. It would be interesting if someone did a survey of men wearing tight V-shaped Speedo's at an ordinary Australian beach as compared to an ordinary American beach. There would be far more men wearing the Speedo's at the Australian beach. As I said in my previous post, I believe this is indicative of a stunted male psychology in American men combined with a degree of homophobia.

    Also, keep in mind that American culture has polarized male sexuality into straight and gay, with hardly any room for movement in-between. This polarization has created a fear of "looking sexy to another man" in most American men. They think that if they look sexy then it must indicate a change of affiliation to the polar opposite. This form of correctness - to which gay men have contributed - really has to end. It's not kosher.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 19, 2008 9:42:35 AM

  19. Hey Sparks - and anyone else who's quick to jump on anyone who makes fun of Phelps' looks. Wouldn’t you do the same if he weren't an Olympian and he was, say, overweight? Perhaps you wouldn’t do so, but the hypocrisy of gay men is obvious (I know, I know; I’m generalizing). If Phelps was walking down the streets of Chelsea, without display of his swimmers build, no shallow fag would look at him twice. But, don a pair of skin-tight swimming trunks, and a 28” waist and – WOO HOO – every one wants a piece. So, yes, those who make fun of Phelps’ looks are morons. But so are those whom are superficial of such appearances. Is either so surprising given the sad, pathetic prejudiced gay “community” we live in

    Posted by: jeffreychrist | Aug 19, 2008 9:43:32 AM

  20. Through all his repeated posts about how he could never vote for Obama (nor McCain, for that matter) because of the INSIDIOUS BISEXUAL DOUBLE STANDARD, I've suspected that Troll and Nutter Jason is not even an American citizen. His email address and his spelling of "practise" would suggest his posts are emanating from Australia.

    I'll take this latest post as confirmation of that hypothesis.

    Posted by: 24play | Aug 19, 2008 9:47:44 AM

  21. Jeffrey,

    Yes, I tend to agree. I think we gay men are just as shallow as our heterosexual male brothers in how we view fantasy objects. We are just as tacky and obsessed with the appearance of men as heterosexual men are with apperance of women. We are not higher up in the social evolutionary scale. In fact, we are just as potentially Neanderthal as everyone else.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 19, 2008 9:49:28 AM

  22. Wow - that's the gayest flaming pose I've ever seen - I think Madonna does that same pose.

    Lose the smile - the horsetooth look is so unsexy

    Posted by: yuck! | Aug 19, 2008 9:50:43 AM


    I don't agree. He's 6'3" has size 14 shoes and enormous hands. If he walked down the streets of Chelsea the girls would be bending over left and right.

    Posted by: Dan B | Aug 19, 2008 9:58:27 AM

  24. my god phelps is ugly... spitz was much cuter...

    Posted by: the queen | Aug 19, 2008 10:16:27 AM

  25. I can't get past the lazy art director on the shoot who was so meticulous about the medals, but didn't bother aligning the typography on the ribbons.

    Posted by: Mark in NYC | Aug 19, 2008 10:23:04 AM

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