“Undeniable” Recap – Meet the Real Michael Phelps

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.

Screengrabs courtesy “Undeniable.”

Screengrabs courtesy “Undeniable.”

 

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.”

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Tom from Chicago

Not to sound too cavalier, but pretty much EVERY single single male in the country has driven with a few too many beers and smoked pot. As I see it, the only real difference is that the media has a story if it’s the guy going for 8 gold medals in a single Olympics. Not to diminish the potential danger of drinking and driving, but this is really a national discussion, not so much anything to do with Phelps. I thought taking Phelps off the last World Team was a dumb idea. How about the fools running the National Swim Organizations ban people for PEDS, not performance diminishing drugs. I still don’t see how Jessica Hardy got away with her… Read more »

Steve-O Nolan

Oh yeah, everyone’s just out drinking and driving. (If they’re male. Clearly women wouldn’t do that? Lololol go-go casual sexism!) I like getting sloshed on the way to work, I can barely drive if I’m anywhere near sober. Good point. But I’m just a regular ole “poor,” I dunno why Michael Phelps let himself be like everyone else – he’s got enough money to, ya know, hire a driver? Could probably even splurge for an Uber Black Car! And if that part of your comment wasn’t bad enough, then you felt like getting real xenophobic. ‘MURRCA DOESN’T CHEAT, BUT THE REST OF THE WORLD DOES. But America usually wins the most medals at the Olympics because we are just THAT… Read more »

Tom from Chicago

Yes, everyone IS out drinking and driving. If you had any friends, you would know it.

I am also guessing you have been to Russia, Brazil, or China. If you go, you will see a whole different way of life. The subways sell every imaginable piece of software, music, or movies. IP isn’t even on their radar. Additionally, with the recent systemic doping issues with Russia and China, is it really “xenophobic” to think they may be cheating, especially when there is a sudden improvement in women.

I think most Americans are clean, but not all. Most American swimmers are not surprises. They have well documented success over their age group, high school, and college years.

Steve-O Nolan

Get better friends.

Caitlin Garrison

Amen to that Steve-O Nolan

cbswims

Tom from Chicago… you definitely have no fear letting it all hang out! While I don’t agree with your first statement, I tend to agree with the gist. As for the PED issues… I’m hoping the powers that be do a better job of ensuring a level playing field so us fans do not loose faith/enthusiasm… I dislike being suspicious of amazing athletic feats; it just feels dirty.

Swum

The fact that Phelps was probably a chronic heavy drinker during the years he set world records is itself suggestive of PED use. Also, his strange appearance and speech are indicative of a man who was dosed with a gross excess of HGH throughout his teen years. You’re stupid to be confident that U.S. swimmers are clean while Chinese and Brazilians are dirty.

Caitlin Garrison

This is an idiotic comment. You don’t know how much Phelps was drinking. He could be chronic or sporadic. It looks like he is a functional alcoholic. The only reason I use the alcoholic term is that he joined AA and went to rehab. However this could also have been done so that he wouldn’t serve jail time as a second offender. I don’t know where you got your science degree from (I have one BTW) but heavy drinking has nothing to do with PED use. As for his speech, he has a lisp that has probably resulted from a class III malocclusion with an anterior open bite (look it up, I am not going to do all the work… Read more »

Caitlin Garrison

No, very single male in the country has not driven with a few too many beers and smoked pot. I have 4 brothers. That “everyone does it” excuse is a little lame. No, everyone does not do IT (whatever it may be). And , yes you are sounding cavalier about drinking and driving. I was hit by a drunk driver and I will be in a certain amount of pain for the rest of my life so I don’t appreciate your attitude. If you believe everyone drinks and drives you should probably get a different set of friends. Michael Phelps did not have “a few too many beers” as you put it His BAC was twice the legal limit. At… Read more »

Billabong

I really doubt your HGH aspersion. His mother would have to have lead that conspiracy. He may well have taken Ritalin, to counter his ADHD, but I seriously doubt that a medic or a mother would have decided to throw a load of HGH into the mix, to see what happened.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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