Milorad Cavic Still Claims He Won 2008 Olympic Gold in 100 Fly Over Michael Phelps

Photo Courtesy: FINIS Swim

Milorad Cavic Still Claims He Won 2008 Olympic Gold in 100 Fly Over Michael Phelps

Olympic silver medalist Milorad Cavic hopped on the Inside With Brett Hawke podcast to talk about his career, where he was a part of perhaps the most famous non-relay swim at the Olympic Games when he famously got beat by Michael Phelps by 0.01 in the 100 butterfly in 2008. Cavic did mention how that race put swimming on the map and how his rivalry with Phelps was built.

Swimming World Magazine July 2002 Issue- PDF ONLY - Cover

Milorad Cavic on the cover of Swimming World in July 2002.

Cavic talked about being born in Anaheim, California and growing up as a Yugoslavian citizen in the United States. He talked about representing Serbia internationally (9:20) and why he decided not to represent the United States. Growing up in Los Angeles, he talked about being influenced by Kobe Bryant (15:00) to be a good athlete and shared how he was confident he could win a medal at the 2004 Olympics in the 100 butterfly.

Cavic finished 16th in the 100 fly in the semifinals, but was fourth after the heats. His semifinal swim was hindered by the fact his suit sucked in water and he faded to last in his heat and was out of the final.

The two then talked about what everyone came to hear about, the 100 butterfly final in Beijing (22:00) where Milorad Cavic boldly predicted he would end Phelps’s perfect streak ongoing that week.

“I don’t think I lost that race,” Milorad Cavic said (27:00) about the famous final in Beijing and explains why he still believes that over 12 years later, citing photos of the finish where he had clearly touched the wall first. He said he regrets having his name attached to Phelps despite never really knowing him personally. He goes over his relationship with his silver medal (36:00) and why he doesn’t care for it.


The pair broke down the 100 fly final in Beijing (39:40) and why Cavic decided to go out so quickly as well as the 2009 race the next year (42:50) when the two rematched and Phelps got the better of him again. Cavic talked about the pressure surrounding that race in 2009 and why he looked much easier the night before in the semi finals.

Purchase this Photo of “The Touch” From ISHOF for only $150

The touch

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF With Rights From Heinz kluetmeier

He talked about his respect and admiration for Phelps (46:00) and how much he respects him for the adversities he had overcome in his life. Cavic closed the interview by sharing what Pieter van den Hoogenband told him the night before the 100 fly final (59:00).

Milorad Cavic was the second man to break 50 seconds in the 100 butterfly in long course meters and also won a gold and a silver at the 2009 Worlds. He swam four years at Cal Berkeley and also was the 2002 Swimming World High School Swimmer of the Year. He is now a senior coach for King Aquatic Club in Washington State.


  1. avatar

    He sounds like Trump

    • avatar


  2. Leonard Posa

    Cavic messed up his finish. Thats why he lost.

  3. Scott Young

    Well, Trump still claims he won the 2020 election…

  4. Johnny Karnofsky

    There is a precedent to declare a statistical tie for gold 🥇….

    1984 Los Angeles, women’s 100m freestyle; Nancy Hogshead/Carrie Steinseifer

    • Jim Bowser

      But, there must have been back up timers to also validate the win and lost.

    • Johnny Karnofsky

      Jim Bowser, there were redundant systems (electronic, photographic/video, and old school manual), that took the times to the 0.001 second and declared it a tie.

      • avatar
        Boris Talan


  5. Dave Amezcua

    Joke 🤣 he took an extra stroke and lost. Photos confirm it was not a “soft pad” story.

    • avatar
      Boris Talan

      Omnis homo mendax !!!
      Electronics not perfect either.
      Would you give Kovic any medals ..if his electronics of Omega could be broken and on the screen could 0.00
      The only explanation could be in this matter touching electronic pet does mean pressing it.

  6. Paul Anthony

    Maybe he can make a medal for himself using crayons, paper and string

  7. avatar

    Hitting the pads vs. touching the pads. You have to hit them with force to stop the clock.

  8. Andy Gallion

    Besides the visual and touchpad evidence, he clearly won 😆

    • Leigh Collins

      Adam Westcott so ridiculous to have press like this. Anyone that watches the race can see he messed up coming into the finish by taking that extra stroke. It happens.

  9. Jim Bowser

    Cavic is a terrific swimmer with incredible accomplishments. He is keeping himself in the press and relevant by his discussion of a incredible close race. Apparently, Phelps’ hand is quicker than his eye. It is all in the details and came down to a touch after a stroke. How does a swimmer get killed. She/he gets taken down by a stroke🤔.
    Nevertheless, 100 fly under 50 is just blazing fast. Enjoy, the silver and imagine it is goal just like you imagine you won. It took the best guy on the planet to touch you out. Recognize your greatness and not your flaws on one race. Certainly, you are better than that one race.

  10. Darijan Milojkovic

    The greatest robbery in a history of swimming 😉🇷🇸🇷🇸🇷🇸

  11. Jim Rafferty

    Tell him to tell his sob story to 1972 US Olympic basketball team……

  12. Rich Davis

    He dropped out of the 100Fr to concentrate on the 100Fl, so this final was his 4th race of the games. Meanwhile, it was Phelps’s 14th or 15th race of the games and he already had 6 Gold Medals. Give it up, please, you were beaten by a far superior swimmer.

  13. Joanne Newton

    Really? The photo of the finish CLEARLY shows that Phelps won. Phelps stayed in streamline while Cavic lifted his head at the finish. As a swim coach, I’m constantly telling my swimmers to stay in streamline at the finish or else you risk losing the race…like Cavic did to Phelps…and I show them the photo finish.

  14. avatar
    Pablo Morales

    Gunnar Larson and Tim McKee tied in the 400IM in Munich 1972. But the miliseconds gave Larson the win. I don´t understand why nowadays they don´t use milisecs to solve draws…

  15. John McCormack

    Sounds like the president? 😂😉 Relax it is a joke…

  16. Rebecca Case

    got to talk to him when he was in La. coaching at LSU. REALLY REALLY nice guy and family man

    • Matt Ramey

      Rebecca Case love hearing this about the big stars in the pool!

  17. Matt Ramey

    Did they use a Dominion timing system?

    • avatar

      A coach who worked with “Mike” Cavic as he grew up in So Cal said he was a loaf in practice and expected special treatment. Cavic would listen to the upcoming workout for the team and then ask the coach, “okay, but what’s my workout?” (Meaning his should be much easier.)

  18. HJ Oxie

    What a whinny little bitch, he just wasn’t good enough to win….twice.

  19. avatar

    Hilary still says she won in 2016 too.

  20. Caleb Reigle

    He didn’t, he got out-touched at the wall. It was close but Phelps was first

  21. HJ Oxie

    Whinny bitch, get over it.

  22. Ian Johnston

    You gotta be in some weird mental space to honestly think OMEGA had it out for you and you actually won when reality is you lost. Mental illness in my opinion.

  23. Pamela Goldsbro

    I’m with Ian. Maybe if he had swum for the USA he would have won😂

  24. Yegor Litvenok

    Dudes nobody care about what’s happens and what it is so every body have hi opinion , and yeah the system is not perfect in our age , we are far from perfect

  25. avatar
    Bear territory

    Mike is a champion nonetheless and really a sweet guy with a misunderstood spirit. He cares deeply about those close to him and he speaks freely with a deadpan sense of humor. Lighten up people. He wasn’t being a she loser. As he goes on to tell us how much respect and admiration he has for phelps. As was said previously, he has a tenderness and vulnerability that makes him an awesome family man. Go bears.

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