Michael Phelps Chasing Family And One Last Record

Sixteen years ago Michael Phelps qualified for his first Olympic team with a second place finish in the 200m butterfly at the 2000 Olympic Trials. Phelps’ longtime coach Bob Bowman remembers the press conference in the aftermath of his success, “the question was do you have a girlfriend, have you kissed her yet?”

Bowman laughed as he reminisced, recalling telling Phelps, “no comment, no comment.”

Today, Phelps qualified for his fifth Olympic team with a win in the 200m butterfly at the 2016 U.S Olympic Trials. After being awarded his gold medal by 1992 200m butterfly Olympic gold medallist Mel Stewart, and being interviewed by Brendan Hansen and Kaitlin Sandeno, Phelps ran to the stands on the other side of the pool.

Spotlight on Phelps, his fiancée Nicole Johnson walked down the stairs to him with their newborn child, Boomer Phelps. He kissed her, he kissed his child, he handed them the flowers and stuffed animal he received along with his gold medal, and then jogged out of the pool giving high-five to excited swim fans on the way out.

“I’ve always given my family my flowers and stuffed animal,” Phelps said referring to all the times he’s passed them along to his mother or sisters. “I guess that’s his first stuffed animal from a race and I just wanted to share that with him.”

A lot has changed since Phelps made his first Olympic team in 2000. Now he’s the greatest Olympian of all time, he’s done things in the sport that nobody else has done, but many of the changes Phelps has shown aren’t just based on athletic achievements.

Phelps has his own family, he has a child, he has a fiancée, and he’s finally ready to move on to a family life following one last hoorah in the pool at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“It’s just special being able to have Nicole and I’s first born be part of the journey that we’re on right now,” Phelps said.

As of now, Phelps has until August 13th when the final day of swimming at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will come to an end, and he’ll hang up his goggles, this time presumably for good. His focus is currently on ending his career the way he wants to go out, a theme he’s reiterated time and time again in the last few months leading up to trials.

One of his big goals, is getting a best time.

“I’d like to think that anytime that Bob and I work hard for a year that we’re able to get a best time,” said Phelps. “I’d like to have maybe one before I retire.”

Best times for Phelps indicate world records considering that he’s the world record holder in the 200m butterfly, an event that he’s guaranteed to swim in Rio, and the 100m butterfly, an event that he’ll most likely also qualify for.

On the topic of records Bowman said to Phelps, “but in all fairness…some of those records -”

Phelps cut Bowman off, “some of them were just ridiculous.”

Bowman continued “You were in your prime of your prime and everything was going right, so it’s kind of -”

Phelps once again cut Bowman off to say, “I don’t know, I think any record is beatable.”

Come August 13th, all will be set and done. Phelps’ career will finally come to a close, records or not, and he’ll move on to a new chapter in his life. A chapter that includes being a father to his newborn son Boomer, and getting married to Johnson.

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7 years ago

Women’s 100 free semi final qualifiers:
1. Abby Weitzeil 53.58
2. Amanda Weir 53.76
3. Dana Vollmer 53.80
4. Simone Manuel 53.84
5. Kelsi Worrell 54.02
6. Katie Ledecky 54.04
7. Lia Neal 54.06
8. Madison Kennedy 54.24
9. Missy Franklin 54.41
10. Olivia Smoliga 54.62
11. Natalie Coughlin 54.73
12. Shannon Vreeland 54.87
12. Margo Geer 54.87
14. Allison Schmitt 54.95
15. Mallory Comerford 55.14
16. Kirsten Vose 55.32

Reply to  Track
7 years ago

Wrong thread to posting that

7 years ago

Great swim by Abby Weitzeil this morning 53.58. Vollmer stepped up too. American women looking better in this event.

7 years ago

I’m only reading the text but I get the impression Bowman thinks MP is not giving him a AAA rating . Phelps cutting him off …..whoah -some tense weeks ahead.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  G.I.N.A.
7 years ago

Bowman doesn’t care any of that as long as he gets a share of the profits.

Reply to  Attila the Hunt
7 years ago

So untrue…they have a special bond. Plus, Bob is quite accomplished in his own right.

Reply to  G.I.N.A.
7 years ago

I didn’t get that impression. Rather, a certain frustration that hard work doesn’t equal to consistently fast time (any more). MP was frustrated most of last year until summer nationals, which surprised him. Same thing this year, except that the stakes are higher,

Reply to  G.I.N.A.
7 years ago

Odd that Bowman would say 2009 was the prime of MP’s prime. He swam a lighter load in Rome than in Beijing or Melbourne, but reportedly on much less serious training (including a six month break after Beijing, right?). Same for his 200 IM PB in Shanghai, where he was only 1:53.4 in the 200 Fly and 50.8 in the 100.

Reply to  M L
7 years ago

Just watched the clip of their interview. Pretty sure that when Bowman said “some of those WRs,” MP thought he was talking about WRs in general (not MP’s records specifically). So when MP says “some of them are ridiculous,” he’s not talking about his own. Also interesting that after MP says “any record is beatable,” Bowman quips “at some point,” at which MP rolls his eyes. Can’t tell if Bowman is trying to manage MP’s expectation or goad him on. I hope it’s the latter.

Stay Human
7 years ago

lol I loved the exchange between Bowman and Phelps. Bowman knows exactly how to motivate him!

Stay Human
7 years ago

Boomer’s going to Rio??! I didn’t know that! There’s no recorded cases yet of Zika being passed on through breast milk yet, but I’d bring lots of formula just in case.

7 years ago

I’m just happy that Michael can move on post Rio and be truly happy. He lights up around his family and that is what matter most. Glad he can see that.

7 years ago

I really hope he gets some best times in RIO. I hope he’s not rested or just barely rested here at Omaha. I think him and bob knew times that they had to qualify and knew how much rest or no rest he needed to achieve them.

Reply to  Beachbumj343
7 years ago

He said on facebook he had started taper a week or two ago. He is rested but maybe just not quite as much as he would be to peak at 100%. But based of that crazy fast first 100 I think his 100 fly is gonna be really good this week. If he can just clean up that last 75 of the 200 fly he will be in a good place. I think if he gets more rest and takes it out more like 53.2 and works his underwaters more (watch the race video he seems to come up alot faster than he normally does) he can bring it down to 29s for the last 2 50s

Steve Nolan
7 years ago

2 IM record’s doable. The fly’s less so, but not impossible.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Steve Nolan
7 years ago

Agreed, Remember, Phelps himself said he hopes Chase gets his 400 IM record. He definitely wants the 200 IM still. IMHO, that’s his greatest chance for a best time (.16 behind the WR). Remember, a year ago he as even *under* WR pace at the end of the 150, but had nobody (especially Ryan Lochte) to race to the wall the final 50. This time there would be Hagino, Cszeh, maybe others in the 2 IM. Of course, we would love him to do an Michael Jordan or a John Elway or a Peyton Manning & go out on top in ALL his events with WR’s (best times). What a legacy THAT would leave.

Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
7 years ago

Do we know is laszlo will swim the 200 IM at the Olympics?

Reply to  Steve Nolan
7 years ago

200 IM is a real possibility, but I think people overlook how strong 1:54.00 is, and 1:54.11 is Phelps best, actually set in the same race Lochte set his record, very close. He could go 1:53.x high, but its not a guaranty done that it will happen at the Olympics. 100 fly is impossible, 50.4 is nowhere near 49.8, that record is insane. Same with the 200 fly, Phelps is not going to swim a 1:51.5 again. He would need to go out just as fast as he did last night and close under a minute.

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch worked for 5-years with SwimSwam news as a web producer focusing on both Canadian and international content. He coached for Toronto Swim Club for four seasons as a senior coach focusing on the development of young swimmers. Mitch is an NCCP level 2 certified coach in Canada and an ASCA Level …

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