It’s that time of year again; the Olympics are right around the corner. I love the Olympics. I have an unhealthy obsession with niche sports – luge and speed skating come to mind instantly – but my favorite non-traditional competitive sport is swimming. I will at times see that a time trial is being televised and will watch it eagerly. Unlike many people for whom swimming is a once-every-four-years interest, for me it’s something I’m really into, and the Olympics is pretty much the only time I can see the best swimmers in the world kick serious ass on the daily.
This evening, Michael Phelps added to his legend by winning a spot on the US Olympic swim team. This will be his fifth Olympics. Generally, people who make multiple Olympic Games are in disciplines such as equestrian, archery, fencing, and shooting. When it gets to the more physically demanding events such as swimming, track and field, speed skating, and skiing, the number of participants who have made it to five drop significantly. Phelps is the first American male to make it to five Olympics. Dara Torres, women’s swimming icon, has also made it to five, her last being Beijing in 2008.
Phelps is 31 years old, which in the world of swimming makes him a grandpa. Let’s face it, most competitive sports are a young person’s game. That’s why I love the old guys who still play baseball. Of course, these days the “old guys” aren’t much older than me, but it’s awesome to see these guys, some of whom could literally be the fathers of their teammates or the guys they are playing against. Let’s check in on the old guys getting it done in baseball these days.
Big Sexy is still dealing. In fact, he’s even added hitting home runs to his impressive resume. Now, of course, it’s taken him fifteen years to run the bases, but he’s out there doing it.
Then there’s the player everyone loves, David Ross. Grandpa Rossy has been on a hot streak lately.
Albert Pujols is getting old, and not as good as he once was, but he’s still out there.
And of course, I could never forget about this guy:
Who are some of your favorite old guys in baseball?
[PS: Pieter van den Hoogenband forever. For my swimming homies.]