Michael Phelps Turns Pro, Signs with Speedo -- October 4, 2001
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 4. MICHAEL Phelps, the youngest male swimmer ever to break a world record, youngest member of the 2000 USA Olympic team and youngest male Olympian since 1932, has signed an individual endorsement deal with SPEEDO. Swimming World and swiminfo first reported in August that Phelps had decided to turn pro
Phelps was a mere 15-years-old when he became the youngest male to break a world record, doing so in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2001 USA Swimming Spring National Championships, clocking 1:54.92 in the 200 meter butterfly.
In July, he shattered his own record with a swim of 1:54.58 at the World Championships, earning his first international gold medal.
The Baltimore, Md. native, who turned 16 in June, has chosen to forego his collegiate eligibility to pursue his professional career as a member of Team SPEEDO. The agreement allows Phelps to continue training actively as a swimmer, while maintaining his current lifestyle at high school and at home. Frank Morgan, Esq. of Hodes Ulman Pessin & Katz, P.A., also of Baltimore, Md, represented him in negotiations with SPEEDO.
"SPEEDO has allowed me the opportunity to continue training with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) and pursue every swimmer's dream of capturing an Olympic Gold Medal," said Phelps. "I have always competed in SPEEDO, so I am very excited to be associated with their great team of athletes and cutting edge products."
"Michael's endorsement deal with SPEEDO ensures he will be able to attend college while at the same time, continue training and performing in his sport at an elite level," said Phelps' mother Deborah S. Phelps, a professional educator. "I am extremely proud of his determination, and thrilled that SPEEDO recognizes and supports his accomplishments."
"SPEEDO is very excited about this opportunity," said Stu Isaac, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, SPEEDO. "Not only will we have one of the most dominant swimmers in the world today as a spokesperson, we also are able to assist in a young man's development."
In addition to his world records and Olympic status, Phelps earned the Kipputh Award at the 2001 USA Swimming Summer National Championships as the Outstanding Male Swimmer. He also is the national age group record-holder (15-16-year-olds) in the 100m fly, 200m fly, 200m individual medley and the 400m IM. In addition, he was a 2000 National A team member, as well as a 1999 National B team member at the age of only 14.
Bob Bowman, who has been honored as the 2001 USA Swimming Coach of the Year and the 2001 American Swimming Coaches' Association Coach of the Year, trains Phelps at NBAC.
Phelps joins more than 40 other athletes including Lenny Krayzelburg, Misty Hyman, Brooke Bennett and Megan Quann as a member of Team SPEEDO.