Five-time Olympian Michael Phelps, the greatest swimmer to ever grace the pool remained unfazed to regain the 200m butterfly title he lost in London 4 years ago against South African Chad le Clos by 5/100th of a second, but this time it wasn’t even close.
It was a race Phelps has avenged directly and Chad le Close did not even medal in what was supposed to be a thrilling rematch after the “race of the century” in Athens.
Chad le Clos stepped up his antics during the semifinals with his bizarre behavior during the pre-games where he shadowboxed for Michael Phelps to see, as if warming for a fight.
Chad le Clos, the overly proud champion after sending Phelps to silver in London, was apparently trying to get into Phelps’ head and even attempted a stare down at the pool.
In a long line of swimmers from all over the world it was as if all eyes could see were only two rivals in a final showdown, but Michael Phelps, the greatest that he is, behaved as all champions do knowing that the battle remains within the self.
As it turned out, the only showdown that happened during the 200m-butterfly contest was between Michael Phelps and Japan’s Masato Sakai, who he beat by .004. Other than that the showdown Chad le Clos had anticipated, perhaps since his victory in London, remained solely in his head as he finished the race at fourth place.
It’s a great comeback story for the American swimmer who’s revealed his personal battles against alcohol and had underwent rehabilitation.
He wasn’t even supposed to be in the 2016 Rio Olympics, as he already retired after London, but un-retired to refocus himself, in an attempt to better his performance.
Michael Phelps has long been the most decorated Olympian of all-time and his win against Chad le Clos added another gold to his glittery career, but those who follow his story know that he has regained more than that.
Michael Phelps has beaten previous champions, world records, chased his own records, but today we witnessed a man who’s truly found himself.
Photo courtesy: Instagram.com/@m_phelps00