Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Phelps' Photo Finish

Michael Phelps was in a pool full of trouble. The American swimming phenom was going for his seventh gold medal in Beijing, a win which would have tied him with Mark Spitz for the most golds at a single Games. But halfway through the finals of the 100-m butterfly, Phelps was stuck in seventh place. Even as he made a furious comeback, it still looked like he would not catch Serbian Milorad Cavic, who was just inches away from an upset. Then Cavic made a fatal mistake, gliding toward the finish, while Phelps snuck in an extra half-stroke. It was a historic kick: Phelps touched the wall .01 seconds before Cavic, clinching a surreal victory. The Serbian delegation filed a protest, but frame-by-frame photos of the finish confirmed the undeniable — Phelps had overtaken Cavic with that one amazing lunge for the wall. Phelps broke Spitz' record the next day, but it was his last one-hundredth of a second victory over Cavic that will prove the most memorable.