Olympics Blog

News about the Summer and Winter Games

« Previous Post | Olympics Blog Home | Next Post »

Gary Hall Jr.: Cavic will upset Phelps


"My name is Milorad."

"Dude, you’re from Anaheim. I'm calling you Mike."

This exchange is typical Mike Cavic and Aaron Peirsol. They are two Southern California swimmers. One has a lot of pride in his heritage, and the other says the word "dude" quite a bit.

Milorad "Mike" Cavic was born in Anaheim to Serbian parents. He spoke Serbian as a first language, but speaks English better, at least as well as any other citizen of the United States with an accent.

Inspired_by_diabetes_2 It was in Berkeley one summer when I first met Mike. My first impression of Mike wasn’t a positive one. “What a jerk," I think I said, under my breath, as I walked away. He was young, a star swimmer out of high school with an ego.

Thank you God that we aren't all judged and remembered by our actions as a freshman in college.

Fast-forward many years and here we are at the 2008 Olympics. Mike Cavic is seated first in the 100-meter butterfly going into the finals.

A swimmer by the name of Michael Phelps has six world records to go with the six gold medals he has from these Olympics, so far. He seems to be on his way to winning eight, unless of course Mike can hold his position. Right now Michael Phelps is seated second to Milorad "Mike" Cavic.

I think Mike can beat Michael. An upset would be the upset of all upsets, it’s true, but I think Mike can beat Michael.

See, I trained with Mike over the last year and a half. That’s not the reason why I think Mike can win. It's just that Mike has grown up a lot. He’s a lot different than that guy I met a long time ago.

Mike has worked harder than anyone this last year. He endured taunt and torment from his teammates, myself included, for being overzealous with his training. We caught him sneaking in extra workouts. Can you imagine? We were training six to eight hours a day, six days a week, and he’s got the gall, and energy, to do an extra? Without telling anyone about it?

"C'mon guys, seriously, get in. I’ve been here since 10 to eight. Practice starts at eight. You guys are 20 minutes late!" he'd scold. Then 15 minutes later our coach would show up and the rest of us would get in, after some more stretching.

Mike had matured a lot, had somehow mellowed in the right ways and matured in others. In short, Mike had become something of a champion and a team leader. He never faltered.

I even taught Mike how to talk some trash during those rare occasions I was able to blow him from the planet with my ray gun, but Mike won every game of Halo played at the Race Club in 2007 and 2008.

"Here's to the guy that is going to upset Michael Phelps in the 100-meter butterfly," I said, handing him his Race Club-embroidered terry cloth robe at the team dinner at the end of the season before heading off to the Olympic trials.

It looks like for once, I might be right.

-- Gary Hall Jr.

Photo: Milorad "Mike" Cavic during the men's 100-meter butterfly semifinal Friday.  Credit: Timothy Clary / AFP/Getty Images

Gary Hall Jr. became a three-time Olympian after being diagnosed with Type I diabetes. He is an ambassador for Inspired by Diabetes, a global campaign that encourages people touched by diabetes to share their stories with others around the world. The program is a collaboration between Eli Lilly & Co. and the International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) Unite for Diabetes initiative. In the U.S., the American Diabetes Assn. is the program’s national advocate. For more information, visit inspiredbydiabetes.com.

Post a comment
If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate.
Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Comments (25)

Poor Gary Hall, Jr. Not only did he fail to make the team, but now he fails in his role as analyst and predictor of the outcome of the 400 IM.

Hint to Gary--remember how you faded in the 400 free relay in Athens.

Follow the example of your father, get a college degree, get a job, make something of yourself. You're day is past. Happily.

Mike this Mike that ... don't you read?!?! - his name is MILORAD and he WILL win gold ;-)

napred MILORAD

I am with Gary Hall Jr. in his prediction that Cavic will win over Phelps. There is no reason for me not to go with his forecast because he became an Olympian three times after a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Way to go, Gary. And Cavic, make Gary proud, okay?

Evelyn Guzman

http://www.free-symptoms-of-diabetes-alert.com (If you want to visit, just click but if it doesn’t work, copy and paste it onto your browser.)

That Chetnik isn't going to win anything. He'll choke just like Gary choked at the Olympic trials.

Phelps had longer fingernails and wins in photo-finish (for 0.01sec)!
Joe is being "chetnik" supposed to be an insult? After all they did saved 500 USA pilots in WW2!

Good call Gary! I think guys like you like to doubt Phelps out of jealousy. He is the best swimmer of all time, the best Olympian of all time, period. So stop hating.

Milorad Cavic actually clearly beat Phelps. He was leading throughout the race, and he clearly touched the finish line FIRST.

Every one of different-angle replays (including the underwater one) clearly showed that Cavic touched the wall FIRST. How did sensor "concluded" that Phelps won is beyond "otherwordly".

Even Phelps was so serious after seeing the official result because he thought he had lost. Even Phelps' coach at the finish line dissapointedly muttered "He's got him" (meaning Cavic beat Phelps). Even Phelps' hostmother in the audience raised two fingers in the air signaling her beliefs in all the confusion.

Something stinks to high heaven here.

Could it be that expectations of rich American sponsors, millions of fans worldwide, and the "course of history" simply had to be met, so darn some guy with a funny name who actually WON!?

I think the International Swimming Federation and IOC has lots of explaining to do.

Cavic lost the race only due to being in mid stroke at the wrong moment. He had to try to glide in or else take a full stroke and smash his arms on the wall. I have no idea if a swimmer can control this aspect of a race. Phelps was more than lucky to get in there.

Gary Hall is an arrogant, self centered whiner, although he definitely should've been in the 4x100 free relay instead of Crocker in the last Olympics. Kenny boy, if Cavic had not stopped kicking into the wall, he would have won. He coasted in and lost the race. Get over it. The only thing that stinks to high heaven is your unfounded, slanderous insinuations. Grow up, please?

Michael Phelps is a true champion. He has been amazingly gracious in victory.

Milorad (Mike) Cavic is an opportunist. He and his family flee to the US (to avoid the Yugoslavian civil war), he takes up a US citizenship, he trains in the US, but then represents Serbia. Worse still, he bad mouths US policy in Serbia (where his "countrymen" butchered innocent civilians). (MolerX - the Chetniks may have saved 500 US airmen but they put 1,000s of Americans in harm's way during the last decade and butchered 10,000s of other human beings....I'm sure you'll have a lot to say about how all that is not true but I suggest you go read the Milosevic trial transcripts).

My final word is for Michael Phelps....AWESOME!

Isn't the term "seeded first," not "seated"? Whoa, Gary, how tough would it be to master the vocabulary of sports, at least?

To Conspiracy Ken: The press reports that FINA used frame-by-frame images from the super-slow-motion cameras directly over the lane ends to confirm the electronic touchpad.

So, Ken...Even the Serbian coaches dropped it after looking at replay - down to one frame every 10 thousandth of a second. They (the coaches and FINA and anyone else involved) is at a better place to make that call than you, sitting on your sofa watching TV.

If they truly thought it was a win or tie, they would have continued with the contest - but they made the choice to drop it after the appropriate reviews.

Stop making this into a conspiracy theory, I'm sick of drama queens who can't just appreciate pure athletic pursuit.

The Truth is correct about Cavic not kicking and gliding into the wall. If you don't believe that, ask Matt Biondi!

Completely agree with HS. How can there be a conspiracy? IT'S AN ELECTRONIC TOUCHPAD. Last time I checked, inanimate objects aren't biased toward certain swimmers.
Hey Ken: Get your eyes checked. Cavic glided into the wall, just barely behind Phelps. It might've looked like he was ahead, but what's important is who touches the wall first. Phelps took a gutsy move taking a half stroke to slam into the wall. Frame by frame analysis shows that Phelps did indeed touch the wall.

Phelps admitted he thought he had lost. I think a lot of people didn't know exactly who touched the wall. Just like in the relay final where it was between USA and France. At first, it looked like France has won. But the USA won by .08 seconds, a much larger margin than this race. I wouldn't be surprised that Phelps's mom and coach, seeing this yards away weren't sure either.

The point is technology isn't biased. Frame by frame pictures, shown to all of the public and the FINA show that Phelps won. It sucks for Cavic, but that's competition. And I honestly think it was stupid to protest the win. Many other swimmers have lost by 0.01 seconds before (Ryan Lochte vs. Laslo Cseh, Ian Crocker vs. Lauberstein of Australia). Both of which the Non-Americans won. So I can't see why there's a conspiracy in support of Phelps or Americans. I think the protest by the Serbians was unsportsmanlike and lame. They should have manned up and accepted that Phelps was simply better.

Cavic got owned by Phelps, just like Matt Biondi by Anthony Nesty in 1988. Same margin of victory, same mistake (gliding in) by the second place finisher. Happens all the time in swimming. Stop drinking all the haterade and be impressed by the accomplishment.


for what is worth, Cavic was born in Anaheim, CA, 24 years ago (1984).
The war in Yugoslavia started 7 years later. Clearly, his parents did not flee the war and this kind of goes against your credibility and proves your bias.

Please go be someone else's fun, will you?

Great race that will go down in the annals of Olympic history. In the end, that's all it's really about for true fans of swimming... the race! Long live The Race Club!

You were almost right, Gary!

What an unbelievable finish for Phelps. Just unreal.

What a race!! It's a shame they can't give two golds as the both earned them. Cavic swam an incredible race that few besides Gary expected. That boy can swim!! And Phelps - what can you say? Unbelievable finish. To do what Phelps is going to finish tonite you have to have a LOT of luck. He definitely had a good does this time. USA!

Ken, your comment is just silly. Yes, everybody who was watching, including me, thought Cavic beat Phelps when watching the race in real time from above the water. They just didn't realize how far Cavic tried to glide in from, and Phelps' extra half stroke beat him by an eyelash.

The touch pad said Phelps won. The video replays were absolutely inconclusive... from those it looked like a dead heat. Only the still cameras that take shots at 100 frames per second could tell that Phelps right hand was on the wall while Cavic's hands were still straining to make the touch. I don't know how you could have looked at that shot and still think Cavic won.

If the Americans were rigging and manipulating the times, why did Dara Torres LOSE by .01? Her story as a 41 year old trying to win her first individual gold in her 5th Olympics was just as interesting as Phelps story. And yet she lost the race by about as much as Phelps won by.

Milorad will have to console himself with being the guy who was the only one who could race the greatest swimmer in history to a near dead heat.

Of course, there is only one thing you all fail to mention: the touchpad was Omega's - Phelps' sponsor.
As for the Torres' story, I am sorry, but her victory simply is not AS important.
I mean, who exactly is Torres?

And there is one more thing: isn't it FINA's rule that the time is measured when BOTH hands touch the wall, and Phelps was clearly behind by this, not to mention other criteria?

It would be realy nice to see official Omega images.

Dear All,
I am lucky enough to have meet Gary Hall Jr and Milorad Cacic.

Gary hall Jr is an amazing man both in and out of the pool. When any of you can make a difference as he has, then say what you like! Unless you know him, how can you say he is "arrogant, or a self centered whiner" You could not be further from the truth! Thank you Gary for all you have done.

Back to the race.... It was just incredible! It had us all on the edge of our seats. Thank you Milorad and Michael for providing us with great entertainment. Congratulations to you both!

One world coming together!

Us_Fan, even if your 'CNN brainwashed' image of Chetniks is correct, how that makes Cavic one of them? I can imagine that USA pilots that were dropping uranium depleted projectiles and cluster bombs to cause maximal civilian casualties ("collateral damage") over Serbia were on "harm's way", but that is rather expected when you are committing aggression on a foreign country.
And yes, before this great "defensive" alliance called NATO started bombing Serbia total number of casualties was probably less than 100, mostly Serbian police officers, killed in UCK terrorist ambush attacks. Only after this "humanitarian" intervention total number of killed reached thousands, in large part by NATO's "precise" bombing from high altitudes.
And yes, Cavic was not blind to the great injustice done to Serbian people by their former allies, and instead of being well paid American hero he decides to be a poor Serbian hero. If that makes him opportunistic, than I suggest you consult a dictionary.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

About the Bloggers