For anyone who missed Michael Phelps’ appearance on “Undeniable” with Joe Buck, which premiered last night on the Audience Network, it is absolutely worth tracking down to watch. The 22-time Olympic medalist takes the show’s host through a high-level journey of his life, tracing steps from swim lessons at 7 years old to his Olympic appearances, to his current day renewed spirit.
It’s clear that Phelps is more comfortable revealing aspects of his persona than he’s ever been, and candidly discusses his post-Beijing mental slump, his double DUI arrests, but also his return to mental fortitude through the help of his family, therapy and engagement to fiancée Nicole Johnson.
A snippet shared from his early days was a detailed goal sheet that Phelps had drafted with Coach Bob Bowman around age 11. Phelps tells Buck that originally, on the back side of the paper, he had written a goal of “winning a gold medal”, but had scratched it out because he thought it was too ambitious. Instead, he listed out specific times he’d target for 3 events, along with the vision of ‘making the Olympics’. If only his past self could see him 18 Olympic golds later.
Below is a collection of quotes spoken by Phelps throughout the heartfelt discussion, during a time in which he says, for once, people are seeing “the real Michael Phelps.”
“At 7 years old, I didn’t want to get my face wet.”
“My love of swimming helped me focus out of the pool also.”
“Dream, Plan, Reach.”
“What’s the worst that can happen? You fail? Great. Get up and do it again.”
“As a 15-year-old I said, ‘I want to change the sport of swimming.’
“I didn’t want to be the second Mark Spitz. I wanted to be the first Michael Phelps.”
“If you want to be the best, you have to do things other people aren’t willing to do.”
“Accomplishing 8 for 8 [gold medals in Beijing] still hasn’t completely set in.”
“Karma is a bi*ch.”
“All the moments in my life have made me stronger, have made me who I am.”
“I didn’t deserve to be in that 400 IM final in London.”
“That was the lowest I’d ever been”, after his 2nd DUI arrest.
“That was probably the most afraid I’ve ever been”, upon entering the treatment center after his 2nd DUI.
“I think, for the first time, people are seeing the real me. This is the real Michael Phelps.”