Michael Phelps has clearly moved on from his 2014 DUI case. The athlete, who made history as the first American swimmer to qualify for an Olympics spot five times, is now ready to move on and show his wares in the coming Rio Summer Olympics.
Phelps, an 18-time gold medalist, retired after the London 2012 Olympics but returned to pool action by 2014. It was at that time that he was arrested for driving under the influence in Baltimore, Maryland. Phelps was cooperative with the authorities but failed to pass the sobriety tests. He was then charged and went on social media to apologized and stressed that he takes “full responsibilities with his actions.”
Two years after that incident, Phelps is already a changed man and his is set to make history again as he sets a date with destiny after winning the 200-meter butterfly qualifying event with a time of 1:54.84. Phelps’ time was enough to book him a spot together with teammate Tom Shields. The 31-year old swimmer who earned the nickname “Flying Fish” told USA Today that his recent qualifying was the hardest swim he ever had.
“That means the most tonight,” Phelps said afterward. “With everything that’s happened, being able to come back, that’s probably harder than any swim I’ve had in my life.”
Phelps added that he is a changed man as he managed to combat his alcoholism by going into rehab. Coming out of it, he realized his dream’s worth, now he is a father to son, Boomer, by his longtime girlfriend Nicole Johnson. Phelps campaign this coming Olympics will be a more personal as he will swim not only for his passion but also for his family.
“Just being able to finish how I want to is so important to me,” Phelps said. “Getting on this team is what I wanted to do.”
U.S. women’s swim team coach David Marsh said with Phelps in the lineup, it brings a solid leadership to the team as a whole. His presence alone gives other swimmers in the team the desire to be at par with his achievements in the sport. Marsh added that Phelps might swim multi-events as he used to, but all of it will depend on how his time bests his previous records.
Aside from the 200-meter butterfly, Phelps is said to swim the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley, and the 100 and 200-meter freestyle.
Photo Courtesy: Linus Egger/Flickr