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Phelps not satisfied with golden games in Rio

Olympic legend Michael Phelps opens up about dark periods in his life and his desire to be the best

2 min read


Erin Andrews interviews Olympic legend Michael Phelps

Erin Andrews interviews Olympic legend Michael Phelps / Photo credit: GFLC

Most people assume swimming legend Michael Phelps would be satisfied with the golden summer he enjoyed at the Rio Olympics earlier this year. Those people would be wrong.

During an appearance at CME Group’s Global Financial Leadership Conference, the 23-time Olympic gold medalist revealed his Summer Games were a disappointment. That’s because Phelps created a list of goals ahead of the Olympics that included things like certain times for each of his events. How many of the goals from the list did Phelps achieve in Rio? One.

The list still hangs in Phelps’ closet and every time he sees it, he feels a bit of a burn in his gut. It is an unsettling feeling of frustration. When asked by sports reporter Erin Andrews if he would ever be able to get over the sense of “failure” he feels when he sees the list, Phelps said he honeslty isn’t sure. But it is going to take a while.

Phelps also shared tales of a dark period in his life when he was in treatment and never wanted to see a pool again. Ultimately it was the support of friends like former NFL star Ray Lewis that helped Phelps re-kindle his competitive spirit and return to the pool. “I didn’t want to be the next Mark Spitz, I wanted to be the first Michael Phelps … I wanted to do things no one had ever done before.”

Phelps’ post-Olympic plans include growing his MP business and bringing more water safety classes to the youth of the world.