Michael Phelps credits Ray Lewis for his decision to compete in 2012 Olympics
Michael Phelps was on the sidelines and in the locker room with the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night as they defeated the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. Phelps, a Maryland native and avid Ravens fan, took part in the team’s postgame celebration.
In an interview with Yahoo! Sports after Baltimore punched its ticket to New Orleans, Phelps talked about some of the conversations he has had with Ray Lewis. The 18-time gold medalist told Dan Wetzel that he may not have gone to London to compete in the 2012 Olympics if it wasn’t for Lewis.
“I think he’s probably the most inspirational person I’ve ever met in my entire life,” Phelps explained. “A lot of people don’t know this, but he was one of the biggest reasons why I came back for four more years. Just some of the things that we have talked about, and he’s helped me get through, I can’t be more happier.
“He is a very powerful man. A very passionate man. I wouldn’t have been able to [swim in the 2012 Olympics] without him. And he’s been telling me, ‘One more shot, one more shot, we’re going to have it.’ And he did it.”
He may be annoying when he’s crying during the National Anthem, but Ray certainly has a way with words. Phelps clearly looks up to him (unlike Wes Welker’s wife) and we know he was considering retiring before the London Olympics, so it makes sense that Lewis would have had a hand in persuading him to return.