With the Olympics in full swing, it might be a good time to take a look at key asteroids and how they impact the charts of Olympic athletes, specifically, record-setting male swimmers. There are two asteroids which apply directly to the Olympic Games—Olympia (#582), named for the town in Greece where the ancient games were held; and Olympiada (#1022), named specifically for the games themselves, which are known also as “Olympiads”. For male swimmers in particular, we’ll also include asteroid Merman (#5456), those half-human, half-fish mythic denizens of the deep which Olympic star swimmers resemble in skill.
Michael Phelps is the reigning aquatic king of the US team, and holds several Olympic records. Even before the 2012 games began, Phelps was the winningest swimmer ever, with 16 medals total (14 gold and 2 bronze), garnered in the 2004 and 2008 summer Olympics. His 2008 performance in Beijing set another record for gold medals, winning 8 in that year alone, the most by any single competitor in any sport, in any one Olympics. With that feat Phelps surpassed the former record of 7 set by another American swimmer, Mark Spitz, at Munich in 1972. He has won a grand total of 66 medals in international competitions (54 golds) including the Olympics, the World and Pan Pacific games. Phelps has set 39 world records over the course of his career, with 7 still standing (once again eclipsing Spitz, who holds 33).
Born 30 June 1985, Michael Phelps’ proficiency with water sports is not surprising, given the close conjunction of asteroid Merman at 7 Cancer with his 8 Cancer Sun. The Sun itself is exactly conjoined a Quasar, signifying someone who stands out in a crowd and gains great notoriety or public acclaim for his achievements. Additionally, Sun/Merman opposes Neptune at 2 Capricorn retrograde, ruler of the sea and the natural environment of mermen and swimmers both. Asteroid Olympia also makes a strong showing; at 25 Taurus it conjoins Venus (admiration, applause) at 24 Taurus and is semisquare the Sun, opposed Saturn (career) at 21 Scorpio retrograde. Asteroid Olympiada at 24 Sagittarius conjoins the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius, an indicator of global notoriety, and is broadly conjunct the 2 Capricorn Neptune.
A chief competitor of Phelps is Australian Ian Thorpe, AKA the “Thorpedo”, who with five Olympic gold medals holds the record for the most won by any Australian athlete in any category. At age 14, Thorpe was the youngest competitor to represent Australia, and has a total of five gold, three silver and one bronze Olympic medals. He also holds the record for most gold medals in any single World Championship competition (6), winning 11 World gold medals in total, the second highest of any swimmer. Born 13 October 1982, Thorpe shares a Sun/Merman conjunction with Phelps, with Merman at 16 Libra and the Sun at 20 Libra, also conjunct Saturn at 24 Libra and asteroid Olympia at 27 Libra. Olympiada at 9 Gemini opposes natal Mars (sports, competitions) at 16 Sagittarius and is broadly sesquiquadrate the Sun.
Mark Spitz, the man Phelps supplanted in the record books,has similar contacts. His record of 7 gold medals at the 1972 Olympics in Munich was unsurpassed for 36 years, and he won a total of 9 gold, a silver and a bronze in the 1968 and 1972 Olympics combined, with 33 international medals to his credit. Born 10 February 1950, asteroid Merman at 27 Libra lies on a Black Hole, often an indicator of record-breaking, and in trine to the 21 Aquarius Sun. Merman is also broadly conjoined the 17 Libra Neptune, itself also trine the Sun. Asteroid Olympia at 25 Capricorn is an exact match for natal Mercury, which governs record-keeping, while Olympiada at 19 Taurus is squared the Sun and Jupiter (renown) at 16 Aquarius, and trine Saturn (career) at 17 Virgo.
Two early American Olympic swimmers who went on to film careers are Johnny Weismuller, who played Tarzan in the 1930s and ‘40s, and Buster Crabbe, noted for his role as Flash Gordon during the same period. Both men got their start as star athletes, competing for the US Olympic swim team in the 1920s. Weismuller won 5 gold medals and a bronze in two Olympics, setting 67 world records in various competitions; Crabbe won a gold and a bronze, before moving to screen work, including starring with Esther Williams in Billy Rose’s Acquacade at the 1940 New York World’s Fair.
Johnny Weismuller (born 2 June 1904) has Merman at 17 Pisces conjunct Olympia at 15 Pisces, both squared the natal Mars (sports, competition)/Sun conjunction at 10 and 11 Gemini. Asteroid Olympiada at 9 Gemini is closely sextile Sun/Mars.
Buster Crabbe (born 7 February 1908) sports a conjunction of Merman at 25 Aquarius, conjoined a Quasar, with the 17 Aquarius Sun. Merman is also sesquiquadrate to natal Neptune at 12 Cancer. Olympia and Olympiada do not play as large a role in Crabbe’s chart, perhaps explaining his relatively sedate Olympic performance. At 1 Aquarius and 6 Gemini respectively, they trine each other, with Olympia squared Jupiter at 7 Leo and Olympiada squared Mercury at 4 Pisces and semisquare Mars at 19 Aries.
Two popular Olympic athletes from the 1980s were Greg Louganis and Rowdy Gaines. Louganis was a diver, not a swimmer per se, winning four gold and one silver medal in three Olympics. His record would doubtless have been greater had the US not boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Rowdy Gaines competed in just one Olympic Games, in Los Angeles in 1984, but won three gold medals that year. After a bout with paralysis in the early ‘90s, Gaines came back to qualify for the trials for the 1996 Olympics, the oldest swimmer ever to qualify. He chose not to pursue Olympic gold a second time, deciding instead to continue his career as a sports commentator for NBC.
Born 29 January 1960, Greg Louganis has asteroid Merman at 7 Gemini, closely trine the 8 Aquarius Sun and inconjunct Neptune at 9 Scorpio. Asteroid Olympia at 3 Aries forms a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with Merman, by a second inconjunct to Neptune at the Apex. Asteroid Olympiada at 26 Gemini is sesquiquadrate the Sun and exactly opposed the Galactic Center, bringing global fame. Rowdy Gaines (born 17 February 1959) has Merman at 22 Pisces, closely conjoined Venus at 21 Pisces, and sesquiquadrate Neptune at 6 Scorpio. Olympia at 21 Aquarius conjoins the 28 Aquarius Sun, while Olympiada at 29 Aries is sextile the Sun and broadly opposed Neptune, broadly trine Saturn at 4 Capricorn.
The 2012 Olympic US Men’s Swim Team includes Michael Phelps,and four other athletes who are hoping for Olympic gold. With prior performances in the 2004 and 2008 games, garnering him three gold medals, two silver and one bronze, Ryan Lochte is a major contender in 2012. With 57 medals in international competitions to his credit (37 gold), Lochte may give Phelps a lap for his money. Born 3 August 1984, Lochte has Merman at 7 Taurus in a T-Square, squared the Sun at 11 Leo and opposed Saturn at 10 Scorpio. Olympiada at 10 Virgo is semisextile the Sun and conjunct Mercury at 8 Virgo, while Olympia at 3 Pisces is sextile Merman, opposed Olympiada, sextile Jupiter at 4 Capricorn, squared Uranus at 9 Sagittarius, and trine Saturn.
Nathan Adrian and Matt Grevers have only competed in one Olympics, but their careers are promising. Adrian has won 12 medals in international competitions, including one Olympic gold medal in 2008, while Grevers Olympic tally includes two gold and one silver medal, also from 2008. Born 7 December 1988, Adrian’s Merman at 22 Gemini broadly opposes the Sun at 15 Sagittarius, with Olympia in exact sextile to the Sun from 15 Aquarius, and Olympiada in a close square from 12 Virgo. Grevers’ (born 26 March 1985) Merman at 23 Taurus opposes his Saturn (career) at 27 Scorpio, with Olympia at 7 Aries conjoined the 5 Aries Sun and Olympiada at 29 Sagittarius in square to the Sun.
Nicholas Thoman began swimming professionally in 2009, so this will be his first Olympics, but he has already won six medals in international competitions, and currently holds the world record for the 100-meter backstroke, which he has defended since 2009. Born 6 March 1986, Thoman’s natal Merman at 22 Virgo broadly opposes his 15 Pisces Sun, and is squared Mars (sports, competition) at 18 Sagittarius. Olympia at 13 Cancer lies in tight trine to the Sun, while Olympiada at 4 Pisces conjoins Jupiter at 3 Pisces and is sextile Neptune at 5 Capricorn.
Swimming is always one of the most popular competitions in the Summer Olympics, and its prominence might be signaled by the placement of asteroid Merman at the Opening Ceremonies at 9 PM BST on July 27. At 26 Sagittarius, Merman is exactly conjunct the Galactic Center, bringing that global recognition and notoriety, and tightly trined to asteroid Olympiada at 25 Leo, with the Moon (the public, as well as pools and bodies of water) at 24 Scorpio in semisextile to Merman and closely squared Olympiada. Fittingly, the Moon conjoins the North Node at 1 Sagittarius, symbol of our highest aspiration, the inspiration which drives us to our greatest achievement. And that’s just what the Olympics have always been about.
[Author’s note: as the games get underway, the deleterious effects of the Uranus/Pluto square are coming well into evidence for one athlete in particular. Michael Phelps’ natal Sun/Merman pairing at 8 and 7 Cancer is directly under the gun of that configuration, with Uranus exactly squared Phelps’ Sun, and Pluto exactly opposed Merman. On Saturday 28 July, Phelps struggled to qualify for the 400-meter individual medley, placing in last position. When the race was swum later that day, Phelps failed to win any medal, coming in fourth; it was the first time since 2000 that he did not finish in the top three in an Olympic competition. To add insult to injury, Phelps fell behind from the first lap, with the butterfly, his trademark stroke.
But Phelps is a smart, quick study, and this was his first encounter with Uranus/Pluto during competition; by Sunday he had apparently compensated for its effects well enough to bring off a silver with the help of three teammates in the 400 meter freestyle relay. By Tuesday July 31, Phelps had taken two more medals, for an Olympic career record-making 19. But even this triumph was not without its glitches. In the 200-meter butterfly, Phelps led throughout, until at the last second a burst of speed from South Africa’s Chad le Clos beat him to the wall by 0.05 seconds, leaving Phelps with the silver, which nonetheless tied the old Olympic record set by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina in 1964. Hours later, Phelps made history with a gold medal in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, with a lot of help from his friends and colleagues on the US swim team, who each extended an early lead that Phelps capitalized on in the final lap. With solo performances still a bit rocky, but working well in a team setting, it remains to be seen how well he can continue to shrug off the Uranus/Pluto effect.]