As America basks in the glory of Michael Phelps' ascent to Olympic dominance, it's important to not let our current triumph fool us into believing that we're infallible. Swimming just isn't as easy as the Phelpses of the world make it out to be. To prove that, let's take a look back on a now forgotten aquatic tragedy.
Well, that man doesn't look tragic. He looks like Nederlander scientists genetically engineered Dolph Lundgren Lite to hunt and strangle sharks for a movie that's mostly a chase scene. He's more focused on underwater movement than a torpedo, and faster. That man is Pieter van den Hoogenband. He has three golds in Olympic events. This was before Michael Phelps became the first walking Atlantean bank, a repository for aquatic gold. Van den Hoogenband was the Olympic swimming champion in the first year the world suddenly cared about Olympic swimming. And nobody knows his name, because he was outshone by a guy who couldn't swim.