“I Was Afraid”: Michael Phelps Admits He Was Scared of Water as a Rookie Swimmer

Published 10/08/2021, 1:22 PM EDT
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)


Winning 28 Olympic medals is not a straightforward task. However, as for Michael Phelps, he achieved his lifelong dream and dominated the swimming pool with ease and brilliance. The ability of Phelps inside the swimming pool is incredible. Courtesy of his unparalleled success, he is a role model to many swimmers.

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However, things were not always rosy for the Olympic legend. Like many children, Michael Phelps too was afraid of the water growing up.

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“Just wasn’t comfortable”- Michael Phelps

In quite an inspirational video, Michael revealed how he once ‘hated’ the pool. He said, “I started swimming at seven. The first couple of years I was afraid to put my face in the water, just wasn’t comfortable. I eventually just put it in and off I went, and I spent so much time around and so much time in it that, you know it’s kinda like we’re one.”

“Anything is possible if you want it, and you’ll work for it. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. The only person that can really put pressure on you is yourself,” said Phelps.

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 21: Nicole Phelps, Michael Phelps and Boomer Phelps attend the Huggies Little Swimmers #trainingfor2032 Swim Class With The Phelps Foundation on August 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Huggies)

It’s unbelievable to know that the greatest swimmer of all time was once terrified of water. However, he overcame his obstacles and started showing his talent in the pool. Moreover, he recollected how his mother would send him to the pool, thus beginning his journey to becoming a legendary swimmer.

“It’s wild to kind of think about how far we’ve come. From my mom putting me in the water safety — I hated the water. I didn’t want anything to do with it. I learned on my back,” Phelps once said.

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Boomer Phelps to make his debut in the future?

In a bid to give the world the next Michael Phelps, he introduced his son Boomer to the pool as well. Notably, he has three sons- Maverick, Beckett, and Boomer. When asked about their future, he gave a perfect response.

“At some point ask why I’m not competing, we’ll see what the answer is then,” said Phelps.

 

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It would be a standout moment if Phelps’ kids take to the pool. After being terrified of water, Phelps overcame all the odds to be the GOAT of swimming.

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Can his kids go one step further?

WATCH THIS STORY- Megan Rapinoe, Usain Bolt and More: Athletes’ Younger Selves vs Now

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Jacob Gijy

481 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.

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