Phelps in Brazil Filming Subway Commercial With Pelé; Discusses Comback

Every sport in the world has their ‘greats,’ their ‘first ballot hall-of-famers,’ their ‘once in a generation,’ their ‘best of the best.’ When you start having conversations, moot as they may be, comparing the creme-de-la-creme from across sports, there’s a few names that really rise to the top. Names like Michael Jordan, Steve Prefontaine, and Dan Marino emerge remain on top, while others suddenly seem paler against the brighter lights of comparison.

Two who without a doubt would be a part of the ‘all-comers’ challenge for greatest athlete of all time were in Sao Paulo, Brazil shooting Subway commercials this week: soccer player Pelé and swimmer Michael Phelps.

Phelps spent some time in his Subway gear talking to local media about his comeback, Phelps responded to questions about his comeback by calling it the “million dollar question” and saying that he doesn’t “even know what is gonna happen tomorrow,” again largely sidestepping the question.

He did confirm what is no longer a secret, though, that he’s back int he water, getting back in shape, and has rejoined the USADA drug testing pool to ensure that he could come back at the 2014 U.S. National Championship meet if he so chose. Both he and his coach, Bob Bowman, have been coy on the comeback, with both saying that they think he could return to his stature as the best in the world by the 2016 Olympics if he wanted to.

Read more about his event here from Lancenet (in Portuguese) and see a brief video of his comments above (in English). A longer video with more footage of the shoot (including Phelps playing soccer) and comments from both the swimming and soccer greats are here.

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Slightly off topic here: does anyone know Phelps’ split time in the 4×100 freestyle relay in London? I seem to remember a sub-47, but it seems unrealistic.

bobo gigi

In one or two seconds you can find that on what we call the INTERNET!
I’m nice so I answer you.



Actually I did find it after I asked, but did not know how to delete the question! 🙂 Thank you anyway

47.15 is still impressive. How does it convert to a flat start? Somewhere between a high 47 and a low 48, right?

bobo gigi

I usually add 0.6 seconds. So I would say around 47.75/47.8. But I’m not a specialist. And it depends on the situation. Agnel has swum a 46.74 split in the same race thanks to his talent but also thanks to the fact he has been aspired by Lochte and has taken his wave. Like Lezak in 2008 against Bernard.
But usually, I add 0.6 seconds and it works for most of the cases.


Sure, you’re right about the “wave” (Marco Orsi did the same in the relay in Barcelona 2013, I think he had the 2nd fastest leg after Gilot). However Phelps could count on nobody’s wave, because Nathan Adrian gave him the lead. That raises interesting questions on how good a sprint freestyler he could have been, or could still be.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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