Michael Phelps Discusses Watching Olympic Trials From the Stands, As a Dad

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Michael Phelps is in a rare position this week in Omaha. He isn’t the favorite, he isn’t making a comeback and he isn’t an underdog.

He is just here.

Phelps and his family have been at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, soaking in the trials from the unfamiliar position of a swimming fan.

He cheered on swimmers, pointed swimmers out to his children, soaked in the sport as a dad and enjoyed not being in the water — at least part of it.

“It is fun to not deal with those nerves. I don’t miss that, not at all. But it got a lot of things firing inside of me. It was fun to see. It was more emotional than I thought. This is all I know. Being back at the biggest and being able to see these men and women step up is amazing,” Michael Phelps said. “Everybody went through so many ups and downs over the past year. For them to have some sort of normalcy, routine had to be extremely challenging.”
Phelps won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, something he said has still not fully sunk in.

“Being able to see what your mind can actually do is amazing. I just wanted to be on an Olympic team. It is still really weird to look at all the medals. That hasn’t totally sunk in yet,” he said.

Phelps, the greatest swimmer in history, has retired from the sport but was excited to see that several swimmers from his generation are still going, guys like Nathan Adrian, Matt Grevers and Anthony Ervin.

“It was awesome talking to Nathan this morning. We were talking about preparing with children. It is different and takes a different toll,” Phelps said. “These guys have been able to do something we have never seen in the sport, people this age in the sport creating history. It is impressive to watch.”

But Michael Phelps, like many swimming fans are most impressed with what Katie Ledecky does on a regular basis.

“Comparing is like apples and oranges because everyone is so different. She is recreating what is possible. That is awesome to watch,” Phelps said. “It’s electric. This energy is what sports are all about. Going from 2000 to where we are today as a country, and seeing how far we come is so impressive. We can go so much farther.”

5 comments

  1. avatar
    Julie

    I love that Phelps has goggle marks and cap tan line in this photo!!

  2. avatar
    James Whisenhunt

    What a beautiful family and an amazing athlete!

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