Rio Olympics: Why Is Michael Phelps Covered In Red Dots?

Tonight on the Rio Olympics, everyone was excited to see Michael Phelps. The thing that everyone noticed was that his body had these big red dots all over it and nobody knew what they were from or why he had them. Michael didn’t even act like anything was different. USA Today shared the details of what was all over Michael Phelps tonight. Fans went to social networks right away trying to figure out what was going on with him.

Tonight, Michael Phelps was part of the U.S. men’s 4×100 freestyle relay. Everyone noticed these red dots that covered his entire body. Some of them were more noticeable than others, but they could not be missed. They are actually from a technique called cupping. This is done as a recovery method for athletes. They actually put suction cups on you that pull the skin back and loosen muscles and tendons. This is different from a massage where you are pressed on to get relief.

Thanks @arschmitty for my cupping today!!! #mpswim #mp ???? @chasekalisz

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

In the picture above, you can see how cupping works. Phelps must feel like this works for him because this was 11 months ago and he obviously hasn’t stopped doing it. This is not something that everyone does, though, so when Phelps was seen with this all over him tonight, fans went crazy wondering if he was okay or what was going on.

Business Insider shared a bit more about cupping and exactly what it is, plus that Michael isn’t the only athlete that has been doing it. Several of the male gymnasts have these cupping marks on them as well, but everyone isn’t paying as close attention to them as Michael Phelps.

These marks are basically bruises, and they can last for two to three weeks. It is from the suction that is done to your body during the procedure. Everyone will probably be seeing them on Michael Phelps and other athletes during the entire Rio Olympics. Phelps used this during his recovery for the Rio Olympics and from the way he performed tonight, it is obvious that it didn’t hurt him and possibly could have helped.

As Hollywood Life shared, Michael Phelps and the rest of the USA Team won the 4X100m relay tonight. Caeleb Dressel wasn’t far behind when he gave it over to Michael Phelps. After that, Phelps took the lead and then Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian helped keep them in the lead. This was a great race, and fans can’t wait to see what else the USA swim teams can pull off during the Rio Olympics.

Mind Body Green shared a few details about cupping and how it works, plus why it is good for you. The site says, “Cupping involves placing glass, bamboo or plastic jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air. The underlying tissue is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove ‘heat’ and pull out the toxins that linger in your body’s tissues.” It goes on to explain that cupping feels relaxing and soothing. It is done on the back and also on other fleshy parts of the body. Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Simpson, Lady Gaga, and Victoria Beckham have all been seen with cupping marks on them just like those that were on Michael Phelps.

Were you shocked to see Michael Phelps with big red spots all over him tonight at the Rio Olympics? Do you think he should have avoided doing this so close to this big event? Sound off in the comments section below on your thoughts, and don’t miss watching the Rio Olympics on NBC. Phelps will be performing several more times this year.

[Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images]