Maybe a later picture will help.
Yep, that tall, skinny kid with the dumbo ears and funny lisp is Michael Phelps. No, he did not BECOME Michael Phelps--he always was. With the right combination of genetics, a coach that believed he was special, a missing dad, and an encouraging mom he forged the determination and belief that led to massive training and astonishing results. It is fun to watch as his gold medals pile up and the world records tumble. He makes it seem effortless--and fun! In a few weeks he can retire as a very wealthy man. Most of us would love to trade places with him--now. I would love to be able to eat all that he eats and be that lean. But....I am not willing to swim 50 miles per week--fast--in order to arrive where he is. It takes work. More work than anybody else is willing to do. For a long time. With no guarantees.
But how inspiring is it to look at that normal, everyday kid and see what he has already accomplished. Just imagine what you and I might be able to accomplish with hard work and a little encouragement.
This sad note from today's headlines; Michael Phelps appeared to be headed for yet another gold medal and world record when his swim cap slipped up on one side. After his ear popped out, he swam in circles until everyone in the field had finished the race.