Phelpsian is the new Beamonesque

Chris Chase

It's the rare Olympian who wins a gold medal in his or her event. It's an even more exceptional feat to set a world record in the course of winning that gold medal. But only Bob Beamon has done both while, at the same time, inspiring a new adjective.

In the 1968 Mexico City Games, the 22-year old Beamon lept so far in the long jump competition that he was out of range of the optical sight system used in determining the official length of jumps. No jumper had ever gone longer than 28 feet and Beamon figured he might have cracked that barrier.

When officials brought out measuring tape to determine how far Beamon went, they discovered that he broke the standing world record by more than two feet, to 29 feet 2 1/2 inches. Thus, to perform an extraordinary achievement came to be known as "Beamonesque."

With the Beijing Games approaching, it was only natural to wonder whether any current Olympian could match the Beamonesque feat of getting their own name in a word. Three candidates came to mind:

Michael Phelps -- Swimming

Phelpsian. adj. felps-e-in. 1) dominating a competition. Eddie Murphy's Meet Dave is not a candidate to have a Phelpsian run at next year's Oscars.


Asafa Powell -- Track

Powelled. v. pow-uld. 1) to accelerate at a jet-like pace. He Powelled out of the restaurant when the waitress brought the check.


Dara Torres -- Swimming

Torres. n. tor-ez. 1) calling into question an accomplishment based on unconfirmed speculation of shenanigans. Bryce said he got the bartender's number, but everyone called Torres on his account of the story.

Photo via Getty Images