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#pounditWednesday, September 30, 2020

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps shares more info about his mental health issues

Michael Phelps was recently honored for the work he has done to call attention to the field of mental health when he was presented with the Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion, and the 23-time gold medalist has continued to share his own experiences to raise awareness.

Phelps has partnered with an app called Talkspace, which gives users access to help from licensed therapists. On Sunday, he sent some tweets talking about what led him to seek help.

Phelps has also dedicated much of his work with the Michael Phelps Foundation to educating people on the importance of mental health treatment and overcoming the stigmas associated with it.

We have seen more and more prominent athletes open up about their mental health issues in recent years, with Kevin Love launching a similar fund to the one Phelps has and former NFL wide receiver Steve Smith speaking publicly about his battle with depression. There are few athletes in the world who are more recognizable than Phelps, which is why he’s being applauded for his efforts.

Michael Phelps selling Arizona mansion for $4.1 million

Michael Phelps and his wife Nicole welcomed their second son into the world back in February, and it may be time to upgrade their residence now that they have multiple children. That is, if anyone ever really needs an upgrade from 6,000 square feet.

As Catherine Reagor of The Arizona Republic discovered, Phelps recently put his home in Paradise Valley on the market for $4.125 million. The 23-time Olympic gold medalist purchased the home for $2.53 million in 2015. The house is 6,010 square feet and has six bedrooms, six-plus bathrooms, four fireplaces, a 350-bottle wine room, a sports room and a massive swimming pool (obviously).

Reagor notes that Phelps bought the house after he was named the Arizona State assistant swim coach in, and it’s unclear why he has decided to sell. If the hot Arizona sun was responsible for the awesome tan Phelps was rocking at the NCAA championship game last year, he’ll probably be sticking around the area.

Michael Phelps shouts out Shaun White on his ‘redemption’ gold medal

Michael Phelps gold

Shaun White was the talk of Twitter and mentioned by many other professional athletes after he won the gold medal in the men’s halfpipe at the Olympics in PyeongChang on Wednesday. But there was one shoutout that stood out more than the others.

Michael Phelps sent a congratulatory tweet to White in which he mentioned “comeback” and “redemption.”

The parallels between the careers of the two Olympic athletes are notable.

Phelphs delivered below expectations at the 2012 Olympics in London with four golds and two silvers. After retiring, he decided to come back and compete in Rio, where he won five golds and a silver, including winning gold in the 200 meter butterfly to avenge a previous loss.

Similarly, White had a disappointing showing at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi after winning gold in the halfpipe in 2010 and 2006. He bounced back with a vengeance in 2018 and reclaimed gold, which is why he was so emotional he was crying afterwards.

Michael Phelps has massive tan at national championship game

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps was in attendance for Monday night’s NCAA National Championship Game between Gonzaga and North Carolina in Glendale, Ariz., and many took notice of his serious tan.

The Olympic hero clearly had spent a lot of time in the sun and had a big tan. You could especially see it around his eyes. Folks turned him into a meme, commenting on both his tan and the look on his face. Here is a roundup of the tweets:

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Michael Phelps gets great name on Starbucks cup

Michael Phelps gold

Michael Phelps was in for a bit of a surprise when he ordered Starbucks on Monday.

Phelps shared an image on Instagram of three Starbucks cups, all of which had rather unique names written on them in deference to the 28-time Olympic medalist.

Interesting names on our Starbucks cups today made us all laugh #hiltonvillage

A post shared by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

The “GOAT” one is good. The “wife of GOAT” and “friend of GOAT” ones are just plain funny. Well done to the barista.

This isn’t the first time Starbucks baristas have noticed sports personalities and given them a little custom message on their cups. A tip of the cap to these people, and it’s cool that Phelps enjoyed it.

Ryan Lochte says Michael Phelps didn’t help him when he needed it

phelps-lochte

As if most peoples’ opinions of Ryan Lochte weren’t already negative enough, this probably won’t help matters.

Lochte was interviewed by USA Today for a long feature, and in it he talked about the reception he’s had from his USA Swimming teammates since the infamous incident in Rio. Lochte complained that swimming icon Michael Phelps wasn’t really there for him when he needed it.

According to Lochte, the two had a text message conversation, but not the phone call he was hoping for.

“I think he texted me back saying, ‘Yeah, sure. I’m here to help,’ or something like that,” Lochte told USA Today. “But he didn’t call me. I was like, ‘Hey, can you please call me? Let me know, I need help.’ That never really happened.”

Lochte pointed out that Phelps has been through some lows such as his two DUIs, so he figured his longtime friend and teammate would be there for him during a bad time. But he unfortunately did not get what he wanted.

Lochte also says that the incident in Rio that generated international headlines has resulted in somewhat of a strained/distant relationship between him and his teammates, which he says he understands.

Complaining about what Phelps didn’t do for him is the last thing Lochte should be doing. He should take ownership of his actions and not try to shift any blame on others.

NBC would ‘love’ to hire Michael Phelps as Olympic analyst

Michael Phelps gold

Michael Phelps may actually be retiring from swimming after he added to his collection of gold medals at the Rio Olympics, but that does not mean we won’t see him in Tokyo four years from now.

Phelps recently said he was interested in getting into broadcasting, and NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus told Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch that he is open to bringing Phelps on board.

“Of course we would love to talk to Michael Phelps,” Lazarus said.

Lazarus was, however, quick to praise former Olympian Rowdy Gaines and the work he has done for NBC, noting that Phelps would not be replacing Gaines.

“But let me put the big caveat on that: The guy who has been doing it the best for the longest is still our guy and that is Rowdy Gaines,” he added. “I’m not looking for you to write that we are looking to replace Rowdy Gaines because we are not. Rowdy’s knowledge is pure and his enthusiasm is infectious. He leaps through the TV screen and grabs you.”

For what it’s worth, Deitsch said he would be “stunned” if Phelps is not part of the NBC swimming coverage team in Tokyo.

One person who knows Phelps pretty well insists the 23-time gold medalist is going to be in the pool competing in 2020. Phelps said he is definitely retiring, but you never know. Either way, it sounds like he will be part of the plan in Tokyo.

10 Greatest Olympian throwback photos

Simone Biles

Back before they were stars and famous athletes, those who competed at the Olympics and won gold medals for their country were just aspiring dreamers. Maybe they one day wanted to win gold. Maybe they one day wanted to be like their hero. But they all had dreams and began training at an early age to achieve them.

We know what these successful athletes look like now, but let’s take a look at what they used to look like too.

1. Michael Phelps at age 15

Michael Phelps was a mere Olympic “hopeful” from Baltimore when this photo was taken by the Baltimore Sun. That was before Phelps, 31, had even won his first Olympic medal.

Phelps went on to become the most decorated Olympian all-time with 28 medals, including 23 golds. His first Olympics experience came in 2000 when he was a member of the swimming team for the Summer Games in Sydney. He placed 5th in the 200m butterfly then. He went on to win three golds and a silver in the 200m fly event in future Olympics.

Phelps’ Olympics success includes 8 medals (six golds) in Athens; eight medals (all golds) in Beijing; six medals (four golds) in London; and six medals (five golds) in Rio.

As a bonus, here’s a June 2001 interview Phelps did with WJZ in Baltimore:

2. Simone Biles in 2004

Here’s a throwback photo Biles shared on social media that appears to be from Christmas 2004, which would have made Biles around seven years old.

Who knew that Biles, just a dreamer at the time, would go on to become possibly the greatest gymnast ever? That’s how many are regarding her after she won five medals in Rio, including four golds. The 19-year-old Texan has won a total of 19 medals in both Olympics and world championships, making her the most decorated American gymnast ever.

Biles needs three medals at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo to surpass Shannon Miller for having the most Olympic medals in US gymnastics history.

3. Young Usain Bolt before he was an international sensation

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Dikembe Mutombo doesn’t mind Michael Phelps, Lilly King using his finger wag

Dikembe Mutombo

Dikembe Mutombo’s signature finger wag has experienced a resurgence amongst American swimmers at this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Rio. Fortunately, they appear to have the blessing of the four-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Mutombo came out on Friday and said that he’s cool with Michael Phelps, who waved his finger at South African rival Chad le Clos after beating him in the 200m butterfly, and Lilly King, who shook hers in disapproval at Russian counterpart Yulia Efimova, using his patented move.

“Copying my move, it really doesn’t bother me,” Mutombo said, per Nina Mandell of For The Win. “As long as they recognize who they got it from.

“I care more about who’s the best, who’s the best in the game, who’s the best in the competition,” Mutombo continued. “… I did it because I believed I was the best in the game. Nobody else could block a shot better than me, no one could dunk on me.”

The eight-time All-Star was significantly less understanding when former Raptors big man Bismack Biyombo tried busting out the move on the basketball court last postseason. But with Phelps and King winning a combined eight medals (seven of them gold) this summer, Mutombo probably figures they’ve earned the right to a wag or two.

Michael Phelps calls out reporter wearing Steelers gear at press conference (Video)

michael-phelps-steelers

Don’t wear Pittsburgh Steelers gear to a Michael Phelps press conference unless you want to get called out.

That’s exactly what happened to one reporter on Sunday, when he dared ask the Maryland native a question with some black and yellow involved.

“Is that a Steelers … Oh man. Golly,” Phelps said in disgust before spotting someone in Baltimore Ravens apparel. “There we go, there’s some Ravens. Man, Steelers.” He even shuddered for emphasis.

The Ravens fan got to ask his question first, and Phelps talked a little about the rivalry.

“I always think we’re going to beat Pittsburgh. That’s an obvious answer,” Phelps said. “I think one of the cool things about that is we always play each other really hard. As much as I’m not a Steelers fan, the games are really exciting and we get a lot of intense hits.”

How strong is Phelps’s bond with his homestate? The Ravens halted last Thursday’s preseason game against Carolina in order to watch Phelps race. Yeah, he is not here for the Steelers at all.