Michael Phelps is “Taking Some Time Away” From Swimming

According to his Twitter account, Michael Phelps is “taking some time away” from swimming and will “attend a program that will provide the help I need to better understand myself.

This will, for now, cut short the comeback attempt that he began earlier this year and that resulted in Pan Pacs gold in the 100 fly plus a spot on the 2015 World Championship team.

Spread across four Tweets on Sunday morning, Phelps said the following:

“The past few days have been extremely difficult. I recognize that this is not my first lapse in judgment, and I am extremely disappointed with myself. I’m going to take some time away to attend a program that will provide the help I need to better understand myself. Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future.”

Phelps did not give any indication about the exact program he was attending, or how long he thought he would be out for.

The announcement is in response to an incident and subsequent charges on 5 counts related to an early-morning arrest early on Tuesday morning in Baltimore. This was Phelps’ second arrest for DUI, with the first coming 10 years earlier.

Update: When asked about how this affects Phelps’ status for the upcoming World Championships, and whether there would be a suspension, USA Swimming says that they are “still considering all possible options,” and that right now they are focused on “completing the necessary due diligence” and conducting a thorough evaluation.

See Phelps’ full Tweets below.

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Roger von Oech
6 years ago

A “silver lining” to what could’ve been a very tragic situation.

Best wishes to Phelps.

Lili
6 years ago

That probably means no Worlds for him, but that’s irrelevant now. Wish him all the best.

SwamFan
6 years ago

If Phelps is truly sincere about his apology, then I think there is a part of him that thinks there is something wrong with him. The last time he was charged was 10 years ago, which is still unacceptable, but that’s a long time ago. Our society condemns those who makes mistakes when oftentimes, all of society does the same. Phelps was having fun that night and made a bad decision, and I’m not saying we should forgive him, but we should realize that everyone makes mistakes of equal comparison to this.

Diana
Reply to  SwamFan
6 years ago

Yelling at a room-mate is a “lapse in judgement”. Driving drunk is attempted homicide.

GreenGoggles
Reply to  Diana
6 years ago

So all drunk drivers are murderous now? Anyone who has a couple of drinks and gets behind the wheel meant to kill someone? They weren’t just making a stupid decision while drunk and trying to get home, but they had the intent to kill?

swimswambam
Reply to  GreenGoggles
6 years ago

yes

K
Reply to  GreenGoggles
6 years ago

Yes, all drunk drivers are as guilty as one person pointing a loaded gun at another.

It’s that serious.

And obviously you haven’t lost anyone to a drunk driver..

I have.

GreenGoggles
Reply to  K
6 years ago

If he had hit and killed someone yes. But he didn’t. So he is not guilty of murder. No I haven’t lost anyone to a drunk driver. But no one has lost anyone to Michael Phelps… And he did not have the intent to murder. Is he guilty of drunk driving? Recklessness? Pure stupidity that night? Absolutely. But attempted murder…. No sir.

GreenGoggles
Reply to  GreenGoggles
6 years ago

Actually yeah it does “freaking matter” from a moral standpoint because someone who WANTS and INTENDS to kill is different from someone who is making a stupid decision and isn’t considering that the outcome of their actions could be harmful to someone else. I have never gotten a DUI nor do I drive drunk, so you have no reason to call me a moron. You are being ignorant in assuming that I am, considering you don’t have a clue about who I am.

I NEVER said that I didn’t consider it murder when someone was killed in a drunk driving accident. It is murder. I’m saying that this incident was NOT murder. And there was no intent to kill. Drunk… Read more »

GreenGoggles
Reply to  GreenGoggles
6 years ago

The comment I responded to must have been deleted

anon
Reply to  GreenGoggles
6 years ago

Sorry to hear that – would have loved to read it.

anon
Reply to  anon
6 years ago

Too funny – give me a down vote because I would have liked to read the comment that greengoggles thinks must have been deleted.

Billabong
Reply to  Diana
6 years ago

Diana, grow up. If Driving drunk was attempted homicide, then that is what people guilty of it would be charged with. It is a totally different charge, commonly known as DUI. The clue is in the name of the charge……decode it and even you will see that it is not attempted homicide.

112
6 years ago

As much as some believe I hate on Phelps around here, I do wish him the best in his program. And I admit he is the face of competitive swimming & is a big reason why the sport has gotten more media coverage these last several years. Good luck to him & hopefully he comes out a better man.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Good luck Michael and come back stronger in the water and out of the water.

Rafael
6 years ago

Braden a question. Hope others here dont ve mad at me.

If he take this action us swimming would take it easier on him on his judgment? I am not saying he is faking it but.. on todays world the agents lawyers would do anything to diminish problems and clean an image faster

JZ Swim
Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

We all lack judgement in our lives and we can fail to get caught. Michael had bad judgement and now he is reaching out for guidance….way to go Michael.

Dan
Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

Entering a program is the best course of action if Michael has a problem, and he seems to be saying that there is a problem. It may also help his case with both USA Swimming and the legal system. Should he have prolonged seeking help because it might give the perception that his attempt to seek help was insincere? No way.

I hope Michael gets what he needs out of this treatment. His hard work and dedication to swimming has inspired me and I’m sure many others.

WHOKNOWS
6 years ago

“Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual.”

Bravo! We are behind you 100 percent!

david
6 years ago

I guess the other option was prison time
Anyway it’s a major let down for Kazan
That show down with Chad was gonna be the highlight of Worlds
What a shame

112
Reply to  david
6 years ago

I agree with you! Just for my love of the sport I was looking forward to that showdown. It was actually one of the highlights I was looking forward to. Oh well there is always Rio(if that happens).

Billabong
Reply to  david
6 years ago

Unfortunately for the Phans out there this was always “in the price”. 29 year olds who have achieved everything are never going to be as hungry and dedicated to the task as 22 yr olds. King Chad will repeat as world champion next year with or without Phelps there. It does not detract from his achievements. Phelps being injured, disinterested, suspended or locked up(new twist) is not his problem. We have been saying this for months on end.

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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