Michael Phelps Analyzes Every Olympic Final in ‘Medals, Memories & More’ Series on Peacock

michael-phelps
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Michael Phelps, widely regarded as the greatest Olympic athlete of all-time, dissected all of his finals swims from his five trips to the Olympics in a new docu-series, “Michael Phelps: Medals, Memories and More,” only available on Peacock. Phelps sits down with the two men who called each of his 28 Olympic medals on NBC, Rowdy Gaines and Dan Hicks to analyze each of his races from Sydney 2000 to Rio 2016.

The series is not presented as a documentary in the sense that The Weight of Gold and In Deep With Ryan Lochte were presented, but more as a visual podcast. Hicks, Gaines and Phelps talk swimming for over an hour, and it’s a must watch for any junkies of the sport who have ever wanted to pick Phelps’ brain. Phelps’ photographic swimming memory comes into play here as he is able to recall specific memories from his swims in Athens, explaining his decision to allow Ian Crocker to take his finals spot on the medley relay despite beating him in the 100 fly, as well as the weight of losing the 4×100 free gold medal.

The first leg of the 3-part series takes viewers through teenage Phelps’ trips to the Games in 2000 and 2004, while Part Two delves into the magical 8-gold medal run in 2008. Part Three finishes with the trials and tribulations endured in the 2012 Games, and the ultimate “riding off into the sunset” moment in 2016.

Michael Phelps shared the mindset he had leading in to Athens, where he was not feeling much of the pressure put on him nor was he feeling his fame rise during the Games. The internet was in circulation at that point and Phelps was on the cover of magazines and starring in many commercials during the Games, but he was still able to shut that out without the tool of social media back then. In the Beijing episode, with Phelps’ fame skyrocketing, he explained he was still so locked in to every single swim because he and coach Bob Bowman had rehearsed the eight day schedule and what it would feel like numerous times.

It was on the last day of the swimming competition in Beijing, the day of the eighth gold in the 4×100 medley relay, with the Water Cube full to capacity, including then President George W. Bush, and members of the USA basketball team like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in attendance, that Phelps paused and appreciated the moment.

Hard core fans of the sport will appreciate Hicks, Gaines and Phelps’ retelling of iconic races and calls from “You’re giving Stephen Parry life!” to “He got it done again!” Phelps’ inate ability to recall certain thoughts and emotions during swims that happened over a decade ago is impressive, and this series is a must watch for anyone affiliated with the sport of swimming.

One of the highlights occurred in Part Two when Phelps analyzed the famous photo of the 100 butterfly finish in 2008 taken by Swimming Hall of Fame inductee Heinz Kluetmeier, where Phelps notes Cavic’s poor body position at the touch compared to his own and how that was what cost him the race. Phelps even humorously gave his honest thoughts on whether he feels bad for rivals Laszlo Cseh and Ryan Lochte, who famously shared the podium with him many times over their careers.

The series “Michael Phelps: Medals, Memories & More” is a must watch for fans of swimming, and is a great opportunity to be in the headspace of the greatest swimmer of all-time. Phelps detailed his preparation for the Beijing Olympics, including how he didn’t take a day off, calculated how much time he would need to warm up and warm down each day, and what he was eating on a daily basis during the Games.

Watch the series here.

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