Michael Phelps is already the king of swimming. He’s the king of the Olympics, as the all-time medal leader with 22. He’s one of the most well-known athletes on the planet. With those kind of accomplishments, the competitive drive doesn’t just disappear upon retirement. With the modern era of reality television, though, many athletes have found new outlets. From Dancing With the Stars to the Apprentice, athletes continue to have major “victories” to gun for after their true sporting career has ended.
Phelps will take his drive to the Golf Channel’s incarnation of reality television also known as “the Haney Project”. The show is most famous for the work of expert golf coach Hank Haney in taking on the infamously-bad swing of NBA legend Charles Barkley (also among one of the most dominant Olympians in history).
Rumor has it that Phelps is not a great golfer, but enjoys the sport. It has long been something that elite athletes have taken up seriously after retirement – Michael Jordan once had designs on being a professional, though by most accounts he was a pretty good golfer. I think what would be most interesting about this experience for swim fans is a glimpse inside the real Michael Phelps, as compared to the very guarded person we tend to see through the lens of the media. In addition to that, it can give some insights into how Michael Phelps learns; what his mental process is that made him such a phenomenal performer in a sport like swimming that, much like golf, is extremely intricate technically.
Check out the “best of” moments from Haney’s work with Sir Charles below. He even drops an “I’m no Michael Phelps” around the 1:50 mark. Let’s hope Phelps’ golf swing is no Charles Barkley either, though Barkley’s irreverent personality would certainly help liven up swimming a bit.
Other editions include actor Ray Romano and political commentator Rush Limbaugh.