We all know Micheal Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all times with a total of 28 medals, and holder of all-time records for Olympic gold medals, Olympic gold medals in individual events, and Olympic medals in individual events. The American Swimmer who holds the long course world record holder in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, and 400-meter individual medley has won a total of 83 medals in major international long-course competition, out of which 66 gold, 14 silver, and 3 bronze in the Olympics, the Pan Pacific, and the World Championships. But that is not all there is to know about the athlete, who has been through plenty to get to the stage he is in these days.
During the 2008 Olympics, Phelps was alleged by the press to be using performance enhancing drugs as they said he was just “too good to be true” by the press. Phelps then noted that he had signed up for Project Believe, a project by the United States Anti-Doping Agency to which U.S. Olympians volunteer to be tested for drug use according to the World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines. Phelps passed all examinations administered to him, proving he was not using any performance drugs.
His true battle, though, was with alcohol. Phelps was arrested for DUI in 2014, and since it was his second DUI in 10 years, he decided to check-in to a rehabilitation center for treatment. Since after London Olympics in 2012 he announced he will no longer be competing and because of his addiction, the world thought it was it for the legendary swimmer, and so did he. He told sports illustrated he was in a really dark place and didn’t want to live anymore.
His longtime coach, Bob Bowman, had a bad feeling about him before he checked into rehab. He told the magazine he had been living in fear that he would receive a call with some bad news.
Phelps admitted he was terrified of what would happen in rehab before he actually checked in. He describes it and said: “Hug-hug, kiss-kiss, turn in my phone and go to my room… It’s probably the most afraid I’ve ever felt in my life.”
After winning four gold and two silver medals in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, he announced he has decided to retire. In 2014 however, after recovering and maintaining sobriety, he decided to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Phelps told the magazine that After the Olympic games in 2008 he just didn’t want to do it anymore, but knew he couldn’t stop. He also said he would miss at least two workouts a week because he really didn’t feel like going. Right before the Olympic games of 2016, he said he had not had a sip ever since checking out of rehab and nor will he. He promised he was in a better shape than he ever was and “is going back to be the little kid who once said anything is possible”. He also spiked up interest when he hinted we will see a different version of him than we saw in any other Olympics, right before he became the greatest Olympian of all times.