El Mundo, along with other international media, shares a day with the myth, who walks from Tokyo as a spectator after crafting his legend from Athens to Rio de Janeiro.
“It’s weird to be here and not compete. I’ve never been to games like this [con las dos manos en los bolsillos]. This morning I went to the practice pool for a spin and I got a little excited. I was at my place in the world, I loved it. But, well, the experience is still interesting. I’ve found that I love commenting on television, that it’s quite a challenge for audiences in the United States to understand what’s going on, to appreciate the technical details, to enjoy the game like I do.”
With you, Michael Phelps; With you, the owner of the Olympic Games. No one has more medals than him, no one has more gold than him. He appears before the world in Yankee colors, white jeans and a short-sleeved shirt with a version of the Converse All-Star myth: in his form, as in his confessions, nostalgia is evident, but so is joy. In stark contrast to the first painful retirement since the 2012 London Games, his current retirement is the reward for so many years of sacrifice. At his home in Paradise Valley – an apt name – he enjoys raising his three children, Boomer, Beckett and Maverick, with his wife, Nicole, who moves with him to Japan. As an image of the Omega brand, the company that takes time at all sports competitions serves four international newspapers from a fan park that was left without fans due to COVID.
- For many years I swam practically every day. Do you keep doing it now?
- No, no, not at all. I jump in the water only when I need a mental break, a quiet moment. If I have a day on mine, if I’m having a hard time, if I’m suffering from something… I go to the pool. Swimming is something relaxing for me now, swimming I cut my mind off, I put myself on autopilot. But I also train with my wife in the gym three times a week and the rest I do other sports like golf. For 25 years of my life I practiced intensely and now, in order to enjoy my best version, to be physically and mentally balanced, I need to move forward every day.
- So don’t you miss out on the competition?
- It would be strange to say no, but I’ve come a long way to understand myself, to know what I need to do to feel good. I am happy now. I am happy with who I am. I can say that I do not miss training, although competition always stirs up emotions in me.
Phelps speaks after looking around and fiddling with all the time the equipment is on display in Omega’s booth. By his own admission, when he was active, he was a stupid person of data and if at the time I had as many as it was offered now, i.e. the speed or power of the stroke at each moment, “I could have taken swimming to another level. I’d like to see if anyone does. Take advantage, if one has the mindset that is capable of being passionate and dominating”, he highlights by stating that, in addition to living life, he is now dedicated to investing. start-up With his company Tresidor Investment Management and to make the world aware of the importance of taking care of mental health: “Taking care of ourselves should be our main job”.
- Have you rewatched your winnings on YouTube?
- I’ve watched all my races, I’ve spent hours watching all my races, every single one of them. Perhaps my favorite is the victory in the 100m butterfly at the 2009 World Cup in Rome. For the world record and for the celebration. I don’t know if you remember or not, but when I finished I started lifting water with both hands, I like to see myself so open. Whatever work he did in training was later done under the same gestures.
- Do you think there will be someone who will be able to surpass his 23 Olympic gold medals?
- Time will tell. There are capable people, but… who really wants it? Who can last at that level for four or five Olympics to have a chance? I am sure there is someone somewhere on the planet who is working harder than the rest and that person will have a chance to break my record.
- And tell me, apart from commenting on the swimming finals, what are you going to do for a city like Tokyo these days?
- [Re] well i have no idea. When it was done, everyone would tell me where to go and at what time. You are training at this time. You eat this time. This time you compete and this time you sleep. That’s how I spent my days, I didn’t think of anything, just swim. Now try to enjoy traveling with your wife within restrictions and go see other sports. The truth is, when I’m not on TV, what I want most is to see my old teammates swim to the playoffs.