Michael Phelps Wins With ‘Stache

On June 23, 2009, by AMI Staff

Our bong-toting Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps was back in the news this week. Not for setting the record for longest inhalation of performance enhancing hemp fumes. No, he’s swimming competitively again and winning….with a mustache.

Some may not remember, but before his epic Olympic run for eight gold medals last year Phelps was a card carrying Mustached American.

Then Jay Mariotti of the soon-to-be-defunct Chicago Sun-Times wrote his column, "Fu's Gold: Phelps Will Win Eight Then Shave."

In the piece, the communism loving Mariotti — who we called at the time a "murderer" — wrote Phelps "has a wonderful chance to become the most hallowed athlete on earth if only he spares us the visual of a mousy, malnourished Fu Manchu."

Soon thereafter, Phelps’ lip garden was gone.  And yes, he won the golds, but he did it in a shameful fashion, not representative of the American spirit, nor our ideals as a people.

Obviously Mariotti nor Phelps read Time magazine’s interview with former Olympic great and mustached American Mark Spitz in which he said, "When I went to the Olympics, I had every intention of shaving the mustache off, but I realized I was getting so many comments about it — and everybody was talking about it — that I decided to keep it. I had some fun with a Russian coach who asked me if my mustache slowed me down. I said, No, as a matter of fact, it deflects water away from my mouth, allows my rear end to rise and make me bullet shaped in the water, and that's what had allowed me to swim so great. He's translating as fast as he can for the other coaches, and the following year every Russian male swimmer had a mustache."

So three cheers for Phelps for bringing back the hammer, and if you wish to voice your displeasure to Mariotti, write him at jmariotti@suntimes.com.

Carry on.