“So Sorry for Your Loss”: Sports World Reacts to Michael Phelps’ Family’s Devastating News

Published 10/25/2022, 9:00 AM EDT

Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian, who won 23 golds throughout his historic Olympic career. On Monday, Phelps announced through an Instagram post that his father, Fred Phelps, is no more. Michael, who has also been a voice for athletes and advocated for better mental health awareness, wasn’t always on the best of terms with his father.

However, the father and son had grown much closer in recent years after settling their differences. Micheal spoke about the love and respect he had for Fred in his tribute. After the Olympian made the shocking announcement, the sporting world showed their support for Michael and showered him with condolences.


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Michael Phelps shows the love he had for Fred

The Olympic legend took to Instagram and posted three pictures of Fred. The caption reads“You’ll always be my dad… And I’ll always be your son… Love you dad and I will miss you❤️❤️ rip dad”


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A post shared by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00)

In the first photo, Fred is standing next to a younger Michael while wearing the Maryland State Trooper’s uniform and a pool in the background. In the next one, Michael is holding a baby (probably one of his children) as Fred looks on. Finally, the third photo features just Fred holding a baby, most likely one of his grandchildren.

Growing up, Micheal had a rocky relationship with Fred. After his parents divorced in 2009, Michael and Fred grew distant. However, in 2014, Phelps went to rehab after being arrested for drunk driving. Since then, the pair had grown closer to each other.

The sports world reacts to the Olympic legend’s loss


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After Phelps announced his father had passed away, athletes and fans flooded the comment section to show their support for the Olympic legend. Fellow Olympic legend Lindsey Vonn wrote, “Im so sorry for your loss. He will always be there 🙏🏻💔”, Competitive swimmer Cody Simpson wrote, “Thinking of you man. Sending love. So sorry. ❤️”. Pro athletes such as golfer Tony Finau and skateboarder Jagger Eaton also commented.

via Getty

Finau wrote, “Condolences bro ❤️🙏🏾”, while Eaton said, “I couldn’t imagine what you’re feelin brotha, I’m so sorry for your loss. Me and my family send our prayers and condolences ❤️🤝”. Retired basketball player Chandler Parsons wrote, “Thinking of u my brotha ❤️”, While Olympic silver medalist and pro canoeist Fernando Pimenta commented, “My condolences and keep strong 🙏🏼🙌🏼”. However, not just athletes but countless fans have also commented on Phelps’s Instagram post.


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Michael Phelps is an Olympic legend. While Micheal had a rocky relationship with Fred when he was younger, the pair grew to love and respect each other in recent years. There is little doubt that his father’s sudden passing deeply saddened the Olympic legend.



Sagnik Bagchi

559 articles

Sagnik Bagchi is a US Sports writer for EssentiallySports. He has completed his Bachelor's and Master's in English Literature from the University of Calcutta. He has experience working as a freelance MMA writer for Sportskeeda.

Edited By: Simar Singh Wadhwa