Jeffrey Miller

A Writer's Life

Michael Phelps is Korean

phelps-large_trans++-2UVHzAXyufUWV-3mHUwOcWfXahqZ5JHq-MzjeK22jMOf all the stories to come out of the Beijing Olympics one of the more bizarre ones claims that Michael Phelps is Korean.

Supposedly, this is just one of a number of stories being posted on a Chinese portal to show how Koreans distort history for their own advantage (now, who says that revisionist history is unfair?). Other stories that have appeared in the Chinese media allege that Confucius, Lao Tsu and the Buddha also have Korean lineage in addition to American swimming ace Michael Phelps.

According to an online story, to make it look credible, the writer pretends to cite the Chosun Ilbo a major Korean newspaper and research done by a professor at Sungkyunkwan University that is “wholly in line with methods some Chinese have been using to distort and fabricate stories about Korea.”

 Sounds to me more like a Chinese conspiracy or someone just trying to get some people riled up.

 The story that was posted on Chinese portal site Dongbeiwang, or Northeast Web this past week is a real gem to read if you are a fan of conspiracy theories or plain nonsense. Now according to the Chosun Ilbo and this history professor Park Boon-gyung at Sungkyunkwan University, the reason that Phelps is Korea is because around 1,000 B.C., Koreans living in Jeju Island on the southern tip of Korea crossed the Pacific Ocean and settled in America.

 “A large number of them moved to the east coast and settled in present-day Baltimore, Maryland. The Phelps are Maryland natives and therefore, there is a big possibility that the Phelps are of Korean lineage. Doesn’t that explain how a swimming genius came into being in inland Maryland? He has blood of Koreans who came to America by crossing the Pacific running in his veins.”

 Wow, that is some story and you know what is really crazy, some people are going to think that it is true. According to the online Chosun Ilbo story the “Chinese media apparently aim to spread a negative image of Koreans as a people who shamelessly distort history, thus indirectly lending credence to Chinese attempts to co-opt early Korean history.”

 And there you have it, Michael Phelps is Korean—that is, if you believe everything you read on the Internet.

1 Comment

  1. good job on the post. of course he’s not korean.

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