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“I Had to Hold Off”: Michael Phelps Was Scared of Losing to an Eleven-Year-Old Girl in 2018

Published 11/28/2022, 8:45 AM EST

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Michael Phelps is one of the most dominant athletes in the world. Phelps holds the world record for the highest number of Olympic medals ever. Not just swimming, the Flying Fish is also famous for his golf talent.

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With his extraordinary speed, the 6’4″ tall swimming legend has broken many records in the pool. But the same cannot be said about his speed on the land. Phelps once opened up about almost losing a race to an 11-year-old girl.


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Turkey trot was not the best idea for Phelps

Phelps opened up about a turkey trot he participated in on Thanksgiving a few years ago. Turkey Trots are a Thanksgiving tradition where participants run long-distance races dressed up as turkeys.

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Michael Phelps claimed that participating in the race was not a good idea. Phelps is not a runner and doesn’t race outside of water. The 37-year-old swimmer was dealing with plantar fasciitis that caused shooting pain at the heels of the feet.


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“Used to Think, Oh, I Can Fix Him”: Michael Phelps’ Wife Was Living in Denial Until She Realized the Swimming Legend Needed Professional Help, in 2020

Phelps claimed the race was fierce and would never try it again. Michael Phelps almost lost to an 11-year-old girl. He said, “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.

Michael Phelps prefers racing beneath the surface


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Phelps undoubtedly kept some top swimmers at bay in the water, but he didn’t see the same fame outside of the water. ‘The Flying Fish’ swims roughly 13 kilometers daily to keep his body fat low. He would rather take a back seat when it comes to sprinting.


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A post shared by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) 

In his childhood, Michael Phelps once desired to be a football player to match with his friends. His mother, Ms. Debbie Phelps, was somehow against his idea and wanted him to be a professional swimmer.


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WATCH THIS STORY: Swimming Legend Michael Phelps Stood Beside Gymnastics GOAT Simone Biles During Her Worst

Fortunately, Phelps stepped into a career that made him leave an unbeatable legacy behind. So, what do you think about the swimmer who doesn’t prefer to race on the ground? Tell us in the comments!

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Written by:

Somya Jain


One take at a time

Somya Jain is a US Sports author at EssentiallySports. She has been a Psychology student for six years, holds a Master’s degree from Panjab University, Chandigarh, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa