“Was Causing Other People So Much Pain”: Michael Phelps Wanted to End His Life to Put His Family Out of Misery

Published 05/05/2022, 8:15 AM EDT
WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 28: American swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps testifies during a hearing before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce Committee February 28, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The subcommittee held a hearing on “Ways to Improve and Strengthen the International Anti-Doping System.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Perhaps what makes life worth living is the fact that it’s not always the same. Even if you are the greatest swimmer ever, sometimes dark days are just inevitable. However, when you are an athlete like Michael Phelps, people only see the victories, the accomplishments, and the gold medals hanging around your neck. Though deep down, he is just another human being going through all the life challenges like the rest of us.

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The impact Michael Phelps had on the world of sports is just beyond words. He is an inspiration for the generations to follow. The Olympian who did and achieved the impossible. However, under the skin of a champion swimmer, Phelps also had his bad moments. There were times when he was not so proud of himself as well.

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Michael Phelps, on having suicidal thoughts

To even think about it feels wrong. How can such a prolific athlete like Phelps talk about ending his life? It doesn’t make any sense. However, when he got arrested for drunk driving, it was the darkest phase of his life. Recalling the bad memories, he said, “At that moment, I felt like the best thing for me to do was just to end my life because I was causing other people so much pain — myself included.”

When nothing was making sense, Phelps had two options, either continue living the life that makes him vulnerable or become someone the world already looks up to.

Talking about how he came out of that phase, he further added“That’s when I really decided that I needed help. “I checked myself into a treatment center, and afterward I continued to see a therapist because I saw how much it helped me lower my shoulders.”

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A champion nonetheless

Perhaps what makes Michael Phelps great isn’t his extraordinary victories, but rather his stronger-than-human willpower. He is the living proof that when hard work and dedication meet talents, greatness is inevitable. Not once in his life did he let circumstances decide what will become of him. He was and he forever will be the master of his own fate.

ATHENS – AUGUST 19: Michael Phelps of USA competes in the men’s swimming 200 metre individual medley final on August 19, 2004 during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games at the Main Pool of the Olympic Sports Complex Aquatic Centre in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

What do you think makes Michael Phelps one of the greatest athletes ever?

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Saurav Panwar

437 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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