December 10, 2008

Phelps an inspiration for young and old

While I commend Kevin Cowherd for his defense of Michael Phelps ("Phelps' recent splashes in media nothing to get worked up about," Dec. 8), his assertion that Mr. Phelps has done nothing but swim for half his life overlooks the swimmer's generous, caring persona.

For several years, Mr. Phelps was a periodic visitor and regular donor to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County. After his success at this year's Olympics, he donated $1 million to Boys and Girls Clubs of America and set up his own nonprofit foundation.

He also - often without media fanfare - has spent time with children, supporting efforts addressing autism and childhood cancer.

Mr. Phelps is a true role model and an inspiration for young people and for geezers like me.

He's given America so much.

Let's give him some space in return.

Don Mathis, Havre de Grace

The writer is a former executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County.

Swimmer chose to milk spotlight

Kevin Cowherd suggests we should feel sorry about Michaels Phelps' lost privacy ("Phelps' recent splashes in media nothing to get worked up about," Dec. 8).

While it must be frustrating for him to deal with media intrusions into his private life, I feel no sympathy for celebrities like Mr. Phelps who make the decision to aggressively market their images and endorse products.

After the Olympic headlines faded, Mr. Phelps had the option of bowing out of public life and living privately. Instead, he chose to appear in television programs, commercials and magazine ads and on cereal boxes, activities for which he was handsomely rewarded.

Why should I feel pity for someone who has obviously chosen to remain in the public eye?

Anna Martin, Baltimore

Time to stop tweaking the Phelps family

What bee does Laura Vozzella have in her bonnet concerning Michael Phelps and his mother, Debbie Phelps?

Her last two columns about them have been very, very nasty ("Hi, Mom, want to meet my new girlfriend?" Dec. 3, and "A whole new look for 'America's family,'" Dec. 7).

She needs to move on.

Barbara Munson, Towson

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.