Michael Phelps returned to the 2016 Olympic Games with a new purpose than he had in previous Olympic Games. It’s a purpose that seems to be serving him well based on last night’s performance. With his son Boomer and his fiancée Nicole Johnson in the audience last night, Phelps brought home his 19th career gold medal as the four-man USA Olympic swimming team placed first in last night’s 4×100 meters free-style relay. Michael beamed and kissed his medal as the emotional team stood on the podium and received their medals. This brings Phelps’ Olympic medal count to an astounding 19 gold, two silver, and two bronze, for a total of 23. It also makes Michael the first swimmer to win the gold at four different Olympic Games.
As previously reported by Inquisitr, Phelps, now 31-years-old, has grown a lot since his last Olympic Games in 2012.
“I look back to 2012 and how I prepared for that and I can tell you it was a joke. It was. I had no passion and wasn’t really too into it. I had no motivation.”
Struggling with alcohol abuse and other inner demons, Michael got some help following the 2012 Olympics and took some time to reflect on himself and his life.
“I never wanted to look back 20 years down the road and say ‘what if I did this differently, what if I did that differently.’ This is me giving 100 percent. I don’t really know besides 2000 the last time that I gave a hundred, hundred percent. I decided everything I do is going to be (aimed) to retire how I want.”
It obviously paid off as Michael Phelps and the other members of the USA Olympics 2016 team, as reported by CBS Sports, beat the team from France by .61 seconds. Their clocked time was 3:09.92. This win was especially rewarding for Michael and the rest of the team because the USA lost the event to France in the 2012 Olympics. Now, the gold is back in America.
“We wanted to bring that relay back to American soil. We had a sour taste in our mouth from 2012. I’m glad that’s back on our soil.”
The other swimmers that, along with Phelps, brought the gold back home in this Olympics 2016 event were 19-year-old Caeleb Dressel, 21-year-old Ryan Held and 27-year-old Nathan Adrian. Adrian competed in this same event with Michael in the 2012 Olympics, when the USA placed Silver to France. This was Adrian’s 4th Olympic gold medal. Dressel and Held were Olympics first-timers. They were emotional on the podium. As reported by Huffington Post, Phelps wrapped an arm around them.
“I told them, it’s OK to cry. It’s good to see some emotion as one of the old dudes.”
Although this was not Michael’s first Olympics, it was in fact his fifth, he admitted being very nervous.
“On the block I thought my heart was going to explode, I was so hyped, so excited. It was so loud, I don’t think I’ve ever heard something like that.”
This Olympic relay was hard fought with Phelps and the rest of the USA team battling it out with France and Australia. Dressel swam the first leg and finished a mere two-hundredths of a second behind France. Michael swam second and gave the team Olympic gold hope as he gained them a lead with his 47.12 second performance that gave them a lead of 1.03 seconds over Australia. Held followed with 47.73, maintaining a .47 second lead for this Olympic swim team. Adrian finished up with 46.97 seconds, giving the USA team the 2016 Olympic win.
Will the 2016 Olympics be Michael Phelps’ last? No word on that at this point. Time will tell.
[Photo by Martin Meissner/Associated Press]