One of the responses to Michael Phelps winning more gold medals than most countries is a joke that has been doing the rounds in China, roughly and partially translated below:
Everyone’s upset about Michael Phelps winning gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m breaststroke, backstroke butterfly and freestyle. Each country has demanded that more medals be awarded for their strongest sports.
Brazil wants football to be divided into 3-a-side, 5-a-side, 7-a-side and 11-a-side matches played on the beach, indoors and on grass.
China wants table tennis to be divided into pen-hold grip, shake-hand grip, pen-hold doubles, shake-hand doubles and pen-hold/shake-hand mixed doubles. It also wants diving to be divided into 1m, 2m, 3m, 4m… all the way up to 10m.
Britain wants equestrian events to be divided into black horse equestrian, white horse equestrian, chestnut and zebra.
Kenya wants long-distance running to include the 10,000m, 11,000m, 12,000m, 13,000m….
As well as men’s and women’s events, Thailand wants ladyboy events as well.
Only South Korea has had no objections. They just shouted “Michael Phelps is Korean!”
This joke, reflecting the friendly relations between the peoples of China and South Korea, was possibly the inspiration for a fake news item which has annoyed the Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo:
‘Michael Phelps Is Korean’ and Other Old Wives’ Tales
Amid a series of unfounded stories in the Chinese media alleging that Koreans say Confucius, Lao Tsu and the Buddha have Korean lineage, one has appeared on a portal site saying the Koreans claim swimming ace Michael Phelps is Korean. To make it look credible, the writer pretends to cite the Chosun Ilbo and research done by a professor at Sungkyunkwan University. This is wholly in line with methods some Chinese have been using to distort and fabricate stories about Korea. (Read the rest of the story here)
The fake report appears to have been deleted from its original location and from the Tianya forum. But for the time being there’s a Chinese-language version at
dahe.cn (The Dahe page has also gone - replaced by another story.)