“Motivation for the Next Olympics”- Michael Phelps’ Recalls Loss to Rival Wasn’t Failure for Him

Published 04/09/2022, 8:30 AM EDT
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 09: Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates winning gold in the Men’s 200m Butterfly Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Michael Phelps is one of the greatest athletes ever because of certain qualities. His ability to transform any negativity or limitation into a winning motivation is absolutely phenomenal. If you tell him he can’t do anything, the next thing you know is it’s already done. What he achieved at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was not an ordinary feat. Perhaps his comparison with the swimming legend Mark Spitz was a major driving force for him in that Olympics.

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Every Olympic that Michael took part in, he was seeking greatness. Since his preparation has always been out of the charts, his results are also unbelievable. Although, his source of motivation for each Olympics was always special. Sometimes it was about disproving a comment, sometimes it was about doing the impossible, and sometimes it was about excelling over previous records.

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Michael Phelps vs Mark Spitz

As the legend won six gold medals in the 2004 Athens Games, the media highlighted another story. It was on everyone’s tongue that Michael Phelps fell short of breaking Mark Spitz’s record of seven Olympic golds in a single edition. About the whole story Michael revealed, “So back then in 2004, everyone made the story of me vs Mark Spitz. The goal was never to beat another Mark Spitz. I wanted to be the first Michael Phelps.”

 

As he recalled the journey of the 2004 Olympics, Michael further added, “So when I got beaten in the second event or third event, that basically canceled any opportunity to win seven gold medals. The headline was it was a failure. I failed. Everyone said that I fell short of breaking Mark spitz’s record. I was like, okay, I’ll use that as a motivation for the next Olympics.”

After that, what happened at the 2008 Olympics is forever enlisted as the greatest moment of the Olympics history.

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The most decorated Olympian ever

Michael Phelps is certainly the apt definition of greatness. 23 Olympic golds, 39 world records, most decorated Olympian ever. Perhaps for anyone who isn’t Michael Phelps, these stats would make them scratch their heads in bewilderment.

BEIJING – AUGUST 16: Gold medalist Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 100m Butterfly Final held at the National Aquatics Centre during Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. By winning gold in the Men’s 100m Butterfly Phelps tied Mark Spitz’s record of winning seven gold medals in a single Olympic Games. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

What do you think Michael Phelps’ greatest strengths are, as an athlete?

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Saurav Panwar

545 articles

Saurav Panwar is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. A postgraduate in Media and Communication Studies, he shares a profound love for creative direction and filmmaking. Saurav is also an avid reader and a literature devotee whose fandom spreads from classics to sci-fi, non-fiction, plays, comics, and much more.

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