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Despite Being a World-Class Swimmer, Michael Phelps Once Signaled His Lofty Ambitions to Try an Exciting Sport in His Career – “Decision Was Kind of Left to Us”

Published 11/04/2022, 9:30 PM EDT
Michael Phelps is a name synonymous with greatness. The legendary swimmer set many world records in his prime, winning tons of medals and accolades. Nicknamed the Baltimore Bullet today, Phelps had a rather tough time growing up. The greatest Olympian of all time was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age and, as a result, played a wide variety of sports in order to stay engaged.
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While the legend made it big in swimming, he once revealed that he came close to taking up another sport. His father, Fred Phelps, was a part of the college football team, while his sisters were swimmers. The star had a range of options to choose from. So, what did he almost end up picking?
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Michael Phelps and his siblings had their decisions to make
Since his childhood, Phelps was surrounded by athletes in the form of his siblings and father. He participated in many sports, such as baseball, lacrosse, soccer, and swimming. Although his father was a football player, he never took to the sport.
He once mentioned how he and his sisters chose their own path and were free to do so. He explained, “My sisters and I, the decision was kind of left to us when it came to what we wanted to do.”
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 25: Michael Phelps of Team USA looks on during the celebrity challenge match ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on September 25, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
In fact, the champion seemed to have taken a fancy to lacrosse. He mentioned how lacrosse was the biggest sport out of the many then. However, things obviously took a turn. The legend made his first national record in the 100-meter butterfly in 1996. This achievement was huge enough for the lacrosse enthusiast to switch to swimming.
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DIVE DEEPER
“Could Hit the Biggest Guy”: Michael Phelps’ Late Father Once Recalled His Incredible High School Football Days
Once the tide had turned, it wasn’t long before Phelps etched his name in the history books of the Olympics. He set 39 world records and won 23 Olympic gold medals. Throughout his career, he set the bar high for other athletes.
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While he struggled with several mental health problems, he grew vocal about his fight and encouraged others to do the same. Eventually, he retired in 2016, bidding goodbye to the sport and leaving behind an unmatchable legacy.
Watch this story: Lindsey Vonn, Cody Simpson, Chandler Parson, and entire sports world mourns the loss of Michael Phelps’ father

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