“We'll never see another like him” says Phelps’ coach
Michael Phelps is said to have surpassed the deeds of Leonidas of Rhodes at the ancient Olympics and the American's coach believes we will never see a sportsman like him again.
Michael Phelps is said to have surpassed the deeds of Leonidas of Rhodes at the ancient Olympics and the American's coach believes we will never see a sportsman of his ilk again in our lifetime.
“Absolutely not, I'm not even looking; he's too special. It's not even once in a generation - it may be once in 10 generations that someone like Michael comes along”, Bob Bowman said after Saturday's final swimming races which left Phelps with 23 Olympic gold medals. “He just had so many things going for him: he had the physical skills, the mental outlook, the family that supported swimming. He has an emotional ability to get up for big races and actually perform better under pressure”.
Phelps bowed out with his fifth gold of the Rio Games in his fifth and final Olympics after powering the United States to victory in the men's 4x100m medley relay. “I don't think you're going to see another Michael”, added Bowman. “But you're going to be seeing a lot of other wonderful people. You're going to be seeing Katie Ledeckys and Ryan Murphys, and hopefully I'll find some of those”.
Phelps, watched by fiancee Nicole and baby son Boomer, ended his career with no regrets after flirting with retirement coming away from the London Games four years ago. “It definitely was a lot more emotional than I was in 2012”, said the 31-year-old. “I think that's a good thing. Being able to look back at my career and say we've been able to accomplish everything we wanted. I couldn't be happier with how things ended”.
Phelps declined to reveal where he kept all his Olympic medals but said he might let Boomer take a medal to school one day to show his friends. “I might let him take one for 'show and tell'”, he laughed. “I'm sure he'll eventually take them over when I pass but that's a long time off yet. I'd probably give him one to take to show and tell; I might have to go with him and take every step with him when he goes and shows it”.
He added: “The other night when I was on Face Time, I was kind of moving the medal around and his eyes just locked on it. He's already eyeing them”.