“I Had to Push Myself”: When Michael Phelps Was Nearly Beaten by a 11-Year-Old In a Thanksgiving Race

Published 11/25/2021, 10:45 AM EST
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 13: Michael Phelps of the United States thanks the crowd after winning gold in the Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Very few athletes have a legacy like that of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps. While one is the fastest man on foot, the other has dominated the Olympic pool for years. However, how good are the two when their roles are reversed?

In an exciting throwback, Phelps talks about how he was almost beaten by a little girl, in a 5k race, during a thanksgiving event. Stay put, this is one of the best Thanksgiving stories you’ll ever hear.


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Michael Phelps almost lost a race

In an interview dating back to a couple of years ago, Michael revealed how he ended up running a 5k event. Notably, he stressed on how he had no intentions of taking part and instantly regretted making the decision as well. Moreover, he also revealed how a little girl almost defeated him in the race.

He said, “That was the worst idea in the world. We did a turkey trot, and I think I’m still dealing with plantar fasciitis. I don’t run, and I don’t do anything outside of the water. It’s been a painful recovery. I don’t know if I’ll ever do that again. I did win it, so I think I’m going to retire on top there.”

OMAHA, NE – JULY 02: Michael Phelps of the United States competes in the final heat for the Men’s 100 Meter Butterfly during Day Seven of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at CenturyLink Center on July 2, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

“I had to push myself to get the win. I had to hold off, I think, an 11-year-old girl. And I’m not kidding. She was flying down the hill coming after me,” added Phelps.


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Who will win a race between Bolt and Phelps?

Like Phelps mentioned, his heroics are only limited to the pool. However, riding high on confidence as always, Usain Bolt once claimed he can defeat a top-class swimmer back in 2017. Ian Thorpe became the mainstay in Olympic Games after his astonishing technique inside the swimming pool. He is a five-time Olympic gold medalist and holds several records to date.


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Backing his claim then, Bolt put forward some points, proving he was better than Thorpe.

“First of all, I can swim faster than you. Are you ready for this? Let me say something, let’s analyse this. First of all, I’m taller than him which means my legs are longer than his, my shoulders are broader than yours and my hand reach is longer than yours, that’s three things that prove I can swim faster than him,” said Bolt.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after winning gold in the Men’s 200m Final on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Not sure about Ian, but will Bolt show the same confidence in the pool against the legend Michael Phelps? Watching the two go head to head will be a dream come true for all. Surely, a crossover we didn’t know we needed.


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Jacob Gijy

1492 articles

Jacob Gijy is a US Sports and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the center the respect he deserves.