Michael Phelps recently opened up about his fight with addiction. The greatest Olympian of all time admitted to dealing with alcohol abuse — he was arrested twice for DUI — and revealed that his life got so dark that he “didn’t want to see another day.”
Phelps made his revelations during an interview on Today with Matt Lauer. For the first time ever, Phelps discussed his struggles with drinking and how his actions affected those dearest to him.
“I think my mom was happy that I was alive because I think she saw the path I was going down,” a reflective Phelps shared. “I think a lot of people close to me saw it. And I was going fast. Fast. Honestly, at one point I felt like I didn’t want to see another day.”
According to Radar Online, the problems started when Phelps was arrested for drinking and driving back in 2004. He managed to stay out of trouble until another arrest in 2014. Only this time, he was suspended from swimming in competitions. He then entered rehab for six months.
At this point in his life, Phelps admitted that things turned dark. Not only were the arrests an outward sign that he needed help, but they were also a wake-up call and led to his eventual recovery. For this, Phelps expressed his gratitude and explained that the arrests were really a “cry for help.”
Looking back, Phelps is still unsure about his addiction. Although he has made great strides in his recovery, Phelps hinted that he still struggles with alcohol.
“I don’t know. I honestly don’t know,” Phelps said after being asked if he thinks he is an alcoholic. “I know I have probably moments where I have gone off the deep end where I shouldn’t. And, and — I would say binged more than anything else.”
Meanwhile, Phelps has moved on with his life and is currently getting ready to marry Nicole Johnson. The two are also getting ready for the birth of their first baby next month. With a baby on the way and a wedding in the near future, Phelps believes that his life is happier now than it has ever been.
As far as his career is concerned, Phelps admitted that he is putting all of his efforts into his training. In addition to getting back into the swing of things, Phelps explained that he has a renewed sense of hunger for swimming.
“I want to be here. That’s the difference,” Phelps stated. “I had no desire to go to work out before. And I want to retire how I want to retire. And I have a great opportunity to do that. I haven’t trained like this in a decade.”
As fans will recall, Phelps had a strained relationship with his former coach, Bob Bowman. Their relationship ended back in 2012. According to USA Today, Phelps won six medals in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, which is surprising considering everything Phelps was going through at the time.
Considering how many gold medals Phelps won while dealing with all of these issues, it will be interesting to see how well he does in the future. Phelps is currently training for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and based on his comments and recent revelations, fans can expect him to be back stronger than ever.
Whether or not Phelps finds success in the upcoming Olympics is yet to be seen. However, the games will be Phelps’ final run at victory, as he will likely retire afterwards. Hopefully, he takes a few more pieces of gold home and retires on top when it’s all said and done.
Tell us! Do you think that Michael Phelps can regain his Olympic glory in 2016? Let us know in the comments, and watch the interview below.
[Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images]