When Michael Phelps Was Just a Teenager | Before They Were Superstars


I think if you really
just have a wide-open mind and use your imagination, I think a lot of things are
possible. I swim here and eat and sleep
and just hang out, pretty much. It’s a thrill every day to come
into work because he does things which I’m quite sure
I’ll never see again. I hate to lose. I think just the whole Olympic atmosphere
is going to be exciting and I really can’t wait for it. I want it to happen today. Michael Phelps
was born in Baltimore. When he was a child, he was scared of even putting
his face underwater. He began swimming at the age of
seven, and in his teens, Michael was training at the
North Baltimore Aquatic Club, swimming close to
100 miles a week. He even trained on Christmas
Day to gain that extra edge. It’s one reason
why we train seven days a week, why we train on Christmas,
why we train on Thanksgiving, 365 days a year. It gives you that extra day of
training that no-one else has. There aren’t many clubs
that train seven days a week, so that gives you one extra set
training session every single week where you can
pick something up. So I’m getting 52 more
practices than everybody else is.
That’s going to make that little all-over big difference
in the end. I think everyone dreams
about breaking a world record every single time they get
in the pool but more than likely,
it’s not going to happen. I mean, I couldn’t
get in the race today and say I’m going to break a world
record because I’m not prepared. There are a lot of things
that go into it. Michael is double-jointed in
the elbows, knees and ankles – just one of his many advantages
in the pool. All right, ready? Go. He’s been coached by Bob Bowman
since he was 11. Michael was always
a very superior athlete and I think had physical skills and was also extremely
competitive at a young age. It was very obvious to see that he would be
a special swimmer. I don’t think you can point
to any one thing that makes him great, but he has the physical tools,
he has the right body shape, he had a family that understood
swimming on a high level and supported his efforts. He happened to swim for a club that had a history of producing
Olympic gold medallists. All those things
sort of came together and I think there’s
a combination of factors. Nice job. Keep it going.
Keep it going, Michael! We’re very close. I think a good swimmer-coach
relationship is needed once you get to
a higher level in the sport. And definitely ours
is extremely high and we’re extremely close
and friends. So I’ve been very fortunate
to have him as a coach. Come on, man. Squeeze your butt
together at the end. Squeeze your butt together
at the end of that kick. It’s a thrill every day
to come into work because he does things which I’m quite sure
I’ll never see again. I try to enjoy what he’s doing. And challenging him
is a challenge in itself because he can handle virtually
anything you throw at him. So I have to stay on my toes
to keep him going. I’ve swum with the group I swim
with for five or ten years. We’ve all known each other and
been around each other the whole time
so it’s just fun. Like I said,
it’s like my family. Back in 2004, there was talk
of Michael trying to win seven gold medals
at the Athens Olympics. Anything is possible. But it’s not one of the things that is number one on my mind
right now. I came back from Sydney
with nothing. So really, going to Athens and getting something is the
goal. There’s not much else
that goes on. It’s pretty much
a laid-back life. Like I said, I swim here and
eat and sleep and just hang out pretty much. At this stage of his life,
away from swimming, Michael’s big love was his new
car, his customised Cadillac. This is a little flip-out TV. It’s all touch-screen. And then we have two
in the back. One on each headrest. A 15-inch Eclipse Titanium
subwoofer. Sort of gives me some… I guess a little more fun,
a little more bass to it. And then under the TVs,
we have some Xbox. And then… ..they’re all, um, 22-inch. They’re called spinners. And when you go and you stop
at a traffic light, they keep spinning
when you stop. I think he has
a lot of options. Because he swims so many events
and because he’s so young, I think he just has a lot to
look forward to after this year. Just physiologically,
he’ll become stronger, mentally, he’ll grow
and become more mature. He can decide to pursue
any number of different events than he’s training now.
So I think the future is bright for him
and the options are open. Not many people in the US,
or in the world, for that, can say they’re
an Olympic gold medallist. So coming back with one gold
medal, obviously, I’ll be completely happy.
One gold medal is all I want. You’re a more recognisable,
notable person with the gold medal.
So one gold medal is my goal. And whatever
happens after that, happens.

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