Michael Phelps Named U.S. Olympic Team Captain for the First Time

For the first time in his long, storied, and incomparable career, the winningest Olympian in history Michael Phelps has been named a captain of the U.S. Olympic Team.

The identities of the 6 team captains (there were only 5 in 2012) were revealed on Tuesday as the Olympic swim team finalizes it’s week in San Antonio and prepares to head to Atlanta for its ultimate Olympic preparations.

The captains:

While Phelps’ career has earned him nearly every accolade available to a swimmer, team captain has never been one until this year – further highlighting the observed change since an arrest and stint in rehab in 2014. Now a father, the 31-year old Phelps has said, with no reservations, that 2016 will be his last Olympic Games.

The captains, which USA Swimming elects for every major international travel team, are voted on by their teammates.

Between the six Captains, after Rio, they will combine for 19 trips to the Olympic Games. None of the 5 captains from the 2012 Olympic Games made the team in 2016, meaning that the group, despite their experience, are all new to this moniker.

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48 Comments on "Michael Phelps Named U.S. Olympic Team Captain for the First Time"

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What’s the function of the captain? I don’t understand why a swim team need captains.

Why are you singling out swim teams? Why does any team need captains? To function as leaders everyone else can look to for guidance and exemplary behavior in and out of the pool. That is pretty much the point of captains on every team in America.

That, and they all have been there before, they can help the newbies (remember, there are A LOT of them) on what to do when, how to prepare for your race, how to relax in the ready room, giving fired up speeches on the bus ride over to the pool, etc etc etc. Basically, every team needs a leader. Sure the coaches can do it, but your peers are the ones who truly make you feel comfortable and ready to race and race hard.

Why are you singling out “America” aka the United States? There are sports in other countries too.

I think Weir or Vollmer would have been good candidates as well

Townley is such a class act for turning down the role and allowing the old people to have a chance. Nathan can chug beer while wearing a full bear suit with the best of them. Cammile Adams can show the young swimmers how to get a legit DQ overturned. And Michael can teach them the importance of having the best lawyers money can buy.

Congratulations to all 6 captains…..don’t like the headline….others elected by peers deserve equal recognition!

Especially all 6 are first time captains been to the Olympics more than once.
I guess that title counted on MP’s name sells. I do think that as MP has said he will retire that this is time to build other swimmers as new faces of USA Swimming

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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