But, thankfully for swimming fans and Team USA’s medal count, Phelps was able to rekindle his enthusiasm, and he says some of the credit for getting him over the hump belongs to a famous NFL player.
“Someone who helped me find the passion back was Ray Lewis,” Phelps said back in March. “He’s been able to help me kind of just find me.”
Hardly a surprising compliment for the all-pro linebacker, whom Phelps, a native of Baltimore and a big Ravens fan, has become close with. In March, a video of Lewis giving a rousing pregame speech to the Stanford men’s basketball team during its NIT championship run created a buzz around the Internet.
“I love to watch him play. It sends chills up my spine,” Phelps told The Baltimore Sun. “And his words are so powerful. It’s what friends are for.”
Now the question remains if Phelps will have Lewis tag along to London to preach about being “pissed off for greatness” before big races.