About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Swimming Star Phelps' Autobiography, 'Beneath The Surface' Reveals His Success Formula

by Hannah Punitha on August 17, 2008 at 5:51 PM
Font : A-A+

 Swimming Star Phelps' Autobiography, 'Beneath The Surface' Reveals His Success Formula

Phelps' Autobiography, Beneath The Surface, reveals that a rare disease and hyperactivity may be the reasons for his phenomenal success in the pool.With seven Olympic gold medals to his credit, Michael Phelps has become the perfect swimming machine. However, his 'freakish' abilities have become a mystery for many.

Now, a glance at the star's 2005 autobiography, Beneath The Surface, reveals that a rare disease and hyperactivity may be the reasons why Phelps is such a success in the pool.

Advertisement

In his late teens, already well advanced on the path to swimming greatness, Phelps attended a training session and felt his heart accelerate at an alarming pace. Bob Bowman, his coach, immediately consulted Phelps's mother, Debbie, and suggested he undergo tests.

His fear: Marfan syndrome, a disease which can lead to defects of the heart valve and aorta, and substantially reduce the life expectancy of those it afflicts.
Advertisement

"If you reach out your arms and form a T and your wingspan is longer than your height, you can be at risk," Smh.com.au quoted him, as stating in his book.

Phelps, indeed, displays the classic symptoms of the disease. His elongated frame is now 193cm - about six feet and four inches on the old scale. But his arm span is considerably more at 208cm.

"In my case, those measurements have always been very close. I didn't know at the time why the doctor decided to look into this. My mom and Bob didn't want me to freak out, so they told me that it was simply a good idea for young athletes to have an EKG [electrocardiogram] test in order to look at the heart," he wrote.

Phelps's measurements have prompted some to speculate that the very physical factors that have formed the fastest swimming stroke in history could be 23-year-old's fatal flaw.

"He grew unevenly," his mother once said.

"It was his ears, then he had very long arms, then he would catch up somewhere else," she added.

Tests cleared Phelps of Marfan syndrome at the time, but doctors have urged vigilance and the American star still undergoes annual check-ups for the disease.

Another bodily trait might also have helped transform Phelps into the perfect, indefatigable swimming machine. In sixth grade, the Maryland native was diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder and prescribed Ritalin to curb his near boundless energy.

After growing frustrated with the drowsiness caused by the drug, Phelps turned to sport, where the symptoms that so agitated teachers greatly impressed coaches.

"I had so many outlets for energy release. I'd go from a lacrosse game to a baseball game to swim practice," he wrote.

Source: ANI
SPH
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Swimmer Phelps' Phenomenal Run may Be Traced to Pasta, Pizza
Amid his masterful performances at the Water Cube, Michael Phelps's days are a blur of massage and ....
Secret of Phelps' Success Lies in 12,000-calorie Daily Diet
Consuming a staggering 12,000 calories a day is the secret behind swimming sensation Michael ......
When Diving Turns Deadly: New Research Findings
It may involve the thrill of flipping and jumping into the water, but diving does not spare the ......
Swimming, BMWs and Touring France are in With China’s Rich
An annual survey released on Thursday has claimed that Swimming, driving BMW cars and holidaying in ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use