“Scared to Death”- Michael Phelps’ Coach Was Afraid for His Future After Infamous Controversy in 2014

Published 06/29/2022, 8:30 AM EDT

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The 2000 Sydney Olympics marked the date when Michael Phelps made his Olympic debut. Fast forward to the 2012 London Olympics, he won 22 Olympic medals. Devoting his life and soul to training, Phelps achieved greatness. However, his mental health deteriorated to the point he committed severe offenses. Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, mentored him at a very young age and drove him to all those victories. But things fell apart from there.

After the London Olympics, Bowman and Phelps went separate ways. Phelps retired briefly from swimming, and Bowman refrained from coaching other swimmers. In a U-turn, the American swimmer returned to swimming and sought help from Bowman. However, the coach never wanted to return to Phelps and go through the process again.


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Rough period for Michael Phelps

When things go out of control in one’s life, it generally takes a titanic effort to get back on track. Phelps suffered from depression after the London Olympics, and seeing what he went through, Bowman had qualms about training him again. From his teenage years, the coach pushed him to the limit of Phelps being a swimming robot with no emotions. Undergoing rigorous training methods, followed by astonishing diets, he was tailormade for the swimming pool. But it had its consequences. 

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The duo became mentally exhausted while Phelps never wanted to swim after London. Missing the sport may be, Bowman took him under his tutelage and wanted assurances from the swimmer to stay out of trouble. But, there was no respite, and cops arrested Phelps for DUI in 2014. When the police stopped him, he recorded 84mph in a narrow, tested 0.14 on his blood alcohol test as all hell broke loose, and Bowman never thought that he would return to the sport.


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READ MORE- Before Becoming a Father Michael Phelps Refused to Hold Someone Else’s Baby for a Heartwarming Reason

“When that happened, I was like, ‘That’s it — you’re never going to change. And I was scared to death what the rest of his life was going to look like,” mentioned Bowman, who knew the similar path he had in 2004. 


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Road to redemption

To sum up, it was a dark day for Phelps and swimming. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months of probation. He admitted to being “in a really dark place” at the time of the arrest. Since then, he refused to take alcohol until the Rio Olympics in 2016. Those rigorous training methods fell into place, and the swimming machine returned to its happy place. At his last Olympic Games, he won six Olympic medals, five of which were gold.

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Phelps bid goodbye to swim, ending an eventful career. On the other hand, Bowman now coaches Leon Marchand. As for Phelps and Bowman, the duo shared a delicate relationship, more like a father and a son. From not wanting to coach him at a point to guide him in becoming the best, Bowman has given his all. The life of Michael Phelps is a curiosity in itself, and there is no doubt that it’s been a fascinating journey.


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WATCH THIS STORY- Simone Biles, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Phelps Net Worth Comparison 2022: Whos Wealthier?


Written by:

Jacob Gijy


One take at a time

Jacob Gijy is a US Sports and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Post Graduation in 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 power forward, the respect he deserves.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa