Correcting A British Misunderstanding

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August 22, 2012 by David Gillaspie

OR, How About Some Miss Itminan Choudhury love for MICHAEL PHELPS, KBE

The London Olympics sent athletes home with gold, silver, and bronze.

Most of the thousands of participants went home with the memory of being Olympians.

And it’s a good memory for most, in spite of the hierarchy:

  • Gold for Olympic Champions.
  • Silver for the first loser.
  • Bronze to the last winner.
  • Status of ‘Olympian’ for those on the national team.

Then there’s a new category of Olympic Trialist? Why not?

The great Michael Phelps rose through the ranks of all, dropped down, then rose again. That’s why he’s a favorite here. He could have quit on London. But he didn’t. He could have mailed it in with the greatest tank-job in history, or at least as great as teams losing intentionally for better positioning.

But he didn’t.

All he did was show the mark of a true champ where you do your best with what you’ve got.

Olympic Gold isn’t for tankers, and neither is British Knighthood.

In a favor to England, and the Queen, I nominated Michael Phelps for the highest honor in the land with this email sent to :

Dear England,

With this email I wish to expand the reach of the British Empire beyond the normal boundaries. I am an American blogger with the greatest respect for history and England’s steadying influence over the centuries .

In my view the world remains indebted to England for the guidance and calm your great nation has provided.

With that said, I feel you may increase the good you do by recognizing the achievements of the Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. What he has done in English waters needs to be settled into the history books on more than the sports page. Winning more medals than any Olympian in history, and doing it in England, needs to be documented as an English moment.

Toward that end, I encourage you to consider Michael Phelps for the top honors you are able to bestow upon him. Take him out of the pool and into the conversation of those who consider sport a distraction at best. Any honors granted by your office would create the sort of stir the rest of the world would enjoy.

There will never be another athlete collecting gold medals like Phelps, and if there is it is unlikely they will go over the top in London. These Olympic Games will be enhanced by your work toward elevating the greatest Olympian to even loftier heights. It could only happen in England, where such honors still have meaning.

best regards,

David Gillaspie”

You’re probably thinking hoax, or why bother, or my favorite ‘get a life.’

Whoever read the email probably thought the same. But in the great tradition of most excellent British manners, the sincerely English Miss Itminan Choudhury, (Honours and Appointments Secretariat, Cabinet Office, G.39, 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2HQ, Tel: 0207 276 2774) wrote back,

Dear Mr Gillaspie, (name spelled correctly, point for Miss Choudhury)

Thank you for your recent communication, nominating Michael Phelps for an honorary award. Unfortunately, because he is not a British citizen and has not achieved anything on behalf of Britain, he will not be eligible for an award.

Kind Regards

I gave it a shot for all the right reasons and fell short like an Olympic Trialist, or anyone going home with less than gold.

No award for Citius, Altius, Fortius for me. No knighthood for Michael Phelps.

Then why the KBE (Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for President George Bush I, Steven Spielberg, and Rudy Giuliani?

Did Placido Domingo sing his way to knighthood? Did Billy Graham pray his way? Did Afghan President Hamid Karzai politic his way?

None of them did it in English waters like Michael Phelps. If tradition matters, who would you bet on in a jousting match, winner take all? The most decorated Olympian of all time would become the most knighted of all time, too.

Listen, the Pool Shark doesn’t need your help, but the greater world of sports does.

With words like fat, obesity, lardness, overweight, big, huge, and lazy used to describe the current state of affairs from the couch, why not encourage Miss Choudhury and her mates in the Honours and Appointments Secretariat, Cabinet Office to reconsider Knighthood?

For example:

  • Michael Phelps is as English as the group mentioned above.
  • He did become the greatest Olympian on British soil-water, something China can’t claim for their own. Besides, what sort of honor could China bestow, a mention in their Little Red Book?
  • A KBE for our guy would shine an even brighter light on England as the glow of the London Games fade and shifts toward Rio.

Dear Miss Choudhury, (

Please build an even stronger bond between our great nations with Knighthood for Michael Phelps. I’ll do my part if you do yours. I’ve been to England. All of my wife’s family are English subjects. Even if I deserve a knighthood, I’ll stand down for Michael Phelps.

Your actions will be noted here on deegeesbb as well as Oregon Sports News dot com ( Think of it as a PR palace coup. My mother in law suggests you discuss this further with the Queen. They are the same age and share many of the same characteristics. She also agrees on the knighthood for Phelps question.

Kindest Regards,

David Gillaspie



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