In the wake of Michael Phelps’ historic performance at the Beijing Olympics of 2008, the question on every-one’s mind is (or should be) “how far are we willing to go?” Beating out the Gladiatorially-named and carbon-fiber-spring-blade-loaded Oscar Pistorius as the first hyper-human athlete to compete in the so called “games”, Phelps officially marks the beginning of a spiral into artificially modified “humans” performing for crowds of unengineered, imperfect pure-bloods such as you and me.
The IOC officially barred Pistorius from competing in the Olympics due to the modified lower-legs he competes upon, a requirement due to the fact that his God-given limbs were amputated at the age of 11 months. Using a variety of thinly-veiled excuses such as “[t]he rule book says a foot has to be in contact with the starting block” and “we cannot accept something that provides advantages”, the IOC on one hand denies a man with no legs, while on the other they allow the juggernaut American swimming team to suit up in specially-engineered “super suits” to improve their own performance. The real controversy however, is not what we see at first glance, but the startling facts of the reality that is Michael Phelps.
As explained in Phelps’ body, the secret of success, we are talking about no ordinary 23-year-old man. Indeed, depending on how it is judged, we man not be talking about a man at all. The laundry list of evidence of Phelps’ super-human physique and biological make-up is impressive:
- He measures in at 6’4″ and 195 pounds, with “a long, thin torso”,
- His “wingspan” is a full 3 inches longer than for a normal man his height, with “his arms work[ing] as powerful propulsive paddles”,
- He “has an upper body of a 6’8″ person but his lower body seems to be of someone who is only 5″10″, which also make[s] the perfect plane in water”,
- He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, giving him more energy to channel into training, while
- “His unique constitution also produces less lactic acid than others which means Phelps takes less time to recover”.
- As if that wasn’t bad enough, his size 14 feet are attached to double-jointed ankles, allowing him to motor through the water as if equipped with custom propellers.
And what, you may ask, is the scientific probability of a single person coming together with all of these traits and being pushed into swimming at a young enough age to hit peak physical performance right when the US needed a hero? Precisely a bazillion to none. That is, however unless you accept that Phelps was clearly either genetically engineered, or selectively bred for precisely this reason.
While Phelps’ birth mother was everywhere to be seen at the Olympics, decidedly absent was a father of any kind. The publicity nightmare that would have ensued had all of his fathers been there was obviously something Team USA chose to avoid. To breed a specimen such as Phelps, it is likely that at least 3 different fathers were involved, splicing their DNA together and fertilizing a single egg to create the real “Aqua Man”. For now, journalists have settled with reporting on what they expect to be the first of many fathers.
With the floodgates on hyperhuman athletes now well and truly open, what will future Olympic games hold? Cross-bred cheetah-sprinters? Amphibious dolphin-men? Mermaids? Flea-legged high-jumpers and Rhino-powered shot-putters? Only time will tell. The 2012 London Olympics, held in the largest metropolitan cultural melting pot the world has ever seen is an incredibly appropriate venue for the first global competition between the engineered athletic monsters we’ll be watching perform there. Here’s to hoping that other countries can accelerate their medical programmes fast enough to stand a chance against scientific America.