Enquiring minds want to know. And so do I.
Picture a triathlon: One and a half kilometers of swimming, 40 kilometers of biking, and then 10 kilometers of running. Armstrong is history’s greatest cyclist; Phelps, mankind’s best swimmer. Who wins the race?
Argument for Phelps: Swimming is the most grueling physical sport on Earth, requiring the development of the most muscles; Phelps will have a much better-rounded physique than Armstrong. It’s likely that Phelps would therefore bike better than Armstrong would swim. Phelps is also younger and more recently at his peak than Armstrong.
Argument for Armstrong: The Tour de France is one of the world’s most intense tests of stamina; since a triathlon requires amazing endurance, Armstrong would have an advantage over someone who’s trained for relatively brief bursts of speed. Also, he’s a cancer survivor who’s done some of his most impressive work since then; that counts for a lot.
Both of these guys are made out of iron. I’d love to see them matched up head to head. It would doubtless be the sporting event of the century. Anybody care to sponsor a contest?