The ancient Olympic Games were considerably more modest than our own -- and no synchronised diving, thank heavens. But the Greek cities made even more of a fuss than we do about their victorious, medal winning (or rather olive-wreath winning) athletes.
The classic ceremony was to have the victor enter his home town in a four-horse chariot through a hole in the city wall specially demolished for the occasion. Who needs walls, after all, when you’ve got splendid young men like this victor?.
The follow-up rewards included a state pension (in the form of free meals for life), front row seats at the theatre, and maybe a poem in celebration of the success.
The obvious idea here is for Peter Gelb to give Mr. Phelps a lifetime subscription to the Met, then beg him to come over to New York for the premieres as often as he can -- and, if at all possible, bring some of his teammates. No need to wear suits for our Olympians. Or even, shirts, actually.
I'm sure the Greeks would approve.