Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt Discuss Supportive Friendship (Video)

Photo Courtesy: Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sports

The friendship between Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt is one of mutual admiration and respect. It’s also a source of funny posts on social media. It’s a support system that gets the two through grueling sets and disappointing races.

It’s also a source of unending laughter and smiles when the two are together, and that continued in an interview they conducted for NBC at the recent USA Swimming nationals in San Antonio.

As part of the network’s “Race For Gold” series, Phelps and Schmitt spoke with Carolyn Manno about their preparation for next year’s Olympic Trials and how the two motivate each other daily in training. The interview took place after the preliminaries of the second day of competition, before Phelps unleashed a world-leading 200 butterfly that would set the tone for one of his most successful meets.

Phelps said he is “hopefully … able to build off that (200 fly prelim) and finish off the week with a couple of good swims, and then I’ll see what I need to really change and focus on going into next year.”

For Schmitt, nationals was her second major competition of the summer, coming off strong performances at the Pan American Games in mid-July. It’s been a rocky Olympic cycle for Schmitt, who hasn’t been able to swim near the times she put up at the London Olympics in 2012. But she gives Phelps a lot of credit for her recent resurgence, saying “I look up to him so much, … and it’s been awesome. Anything he says to me, whether it’s something outside the pool or inside the pool, I take that advice to heart.”

Their friendship, which has lasted many years from the days when Phelps was training at the University of Michigan where Schmitt trained with Club Wolverine. The two are set to relocate to Tempe, Ariz., where coach Bob Bowman will begin as head coach of the Arizona State University swim team. As they prepare for an intense year of training, they said their bond will be the key to getting through the tough times.

“Allison is like my little sister, and I love her to death,” Phelps said. “We’re both in this together, and we both know it’s not going to be easy over this next year. We’re both there going through the same thing, and we’re there supporting each other through it all.”

7 Comments

7 comments

  1. Carylyn Waite

    Love this interview! You’re best friend(s) see the best and the worst of you, and love you regardless.

  2. avatar

    Whenever someone says “Men and women can’t be just friends”- (or another variation, that they can’t even be good friends when in a relationship with each other), I always come back with “You obviously don’t know any swimmers!” Boys and girls, men and women, swimmers all learn to naturally respect each other and friendships come naturally. I have platonic friendships with those women that go back 45 years now and proud and amazed to see what they’ve done with their lives. I’m stoked that Phelps and Schmitt have each other to lean on to get through the most grueling swim programs imaginable!!

Author: Jeff Commings

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Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for SwimmingWorld.com and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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