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Sunday, April 5, 2020

Articles tagged: Michael Phelps

Ryan Lochte sought advice from Michael Phelps after gas station incident

Ryan Lochte

Ryan Lochte says he sought advice from one of his U.S. Swimming teammates not long after he got himself into trouble by lying about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio.

A pretty notable teammate, too.

In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that will air in full on Monday, Lochte spoke about how he reached out to Michael Phelps last month.

“I reached out to him because I knew he hit a low point in his life and bounced back from it,” Lochte said, via TMZ. “I knew his answer was going to be really honest because of our relationship over the years. He said, ‘It’s not what you did, it’s what you do now that will shape who you are.’ I took that to heart and that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna better myself and make sure I don’t make those mistakes again and become a better person.”

Lochte also said he wants to compete in Tokyo in 2020 but admits he was “mentally tired” the past year and is hoping the 10-month suspension gives him an opportunity to clear his mind.

As many of you know, Phelps checked into rehab two years ago after he was busted for his second DUI. He has kept out of trouble since, and his issues with the law seemed all but forgotten when he added to his gold medal total in Rio.

While all of his major sponsors cut ties after the gas station incident, Lochte was able to secure a new one recently. The biggest obstacle standing in the way of a return in Tokyo is his age, as Lochte will turn 36 during the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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.

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.

Simone Biles felt out of place posing with Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky

Simone Biles

Two weeks ago, most of us had no idea who Simone Biles was. That’s how quickly an Olympic hero can become a household name, and Biles has already reached those heights.

With four gold medals and one bronze at the Rio Olympics, Biles is already one of the most accomplished U.S. Olympians of all time. She must not feel like it, however, as she was recently asked for her thoughts on posing alongside Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky for the cover of Sports Illustrated.

You can understand Biles feeling like she isn’t in Phelps’ class. No one is, as the greatest swimmer in history has won 23 gold medals and 28 medals overall. But Ledecky and Biles are in almost identical positions. Ledecky has five gold medals — just one more than Biles. Both women are 19.

If Biles returns to compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics, she could go down as arguably the greatest U.S. gymnast of all time. Heck, she even won one of her golds after this happened. Biles isn’t as far behind Phelps as she thinks.

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.

Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky recreate autograph photo from 2006

MIchael-Phelps-Katie-Ledecky-autograph

When Michael Phelps won his first gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Katie Ledecky was just 7 years old. Two years later, Ledecky scored an autograph from her inspiration.

Now that Ledecky is 19 and has won five gold medals of her own, roles have been reversed. Phelps wanted his U.S. swimming teammate’s autograph in Rio, so the two decided to recreate their now-famous photo from 2006.

Ledecky is already well on her way to being one of the most decorated swimmers in Olympic history. If you want to know how dominant she has been in Rio, just look at this photo. It’s amazing to see her now competing at Phelps’ level when you look back on their 2006 meeting.

Michael Phelps calls for harsher doping penalties: ‘Somebody needs to step up’

Michael Phelps finger wag

Having already accomplished virtually everything that there is to accomplish at the individual level, Michael Phelps is now trying to use his platform to bring some much-needed reform to the sport of swimming.

Phelps, who won five gold medals at the Rio Games to bring his record career Olympic total to 23, spoke with reporters on Sunday and took the opportunity to call for harsher doping penalties in swimming.

“[Dopers] should pay a price,” Phelps said per Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports. “Somebody needs to step up.”

For the 31-year-old Phelps, who competed in five Olympics and became the most decorated Olympian of all-time while never failing a drug test in his career, his word carries a lot of weight. With other notable swimmers like fellow American Lilly King calling for doping reform as well, hopefully this helps mount the public pressure to clean up the sport once and for all.