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On his first day away from all that, he was photographed smoking from a bong at a party in South Carolina. The photograph went viral. He was suspended by USA Swimming for three months. After the world championships inPhelps' drinking, partying and rebelling ways became worse. Each day at Meadowbrook, Bowman's eyes would bounce from the clock to the front door and back, wondering whether Phelps would show.
And he'd just miss more. He'd go to Vegas. He'd do this or do that. Then he'd feel guilty, come back and train pretty hard.
USA Today: Gay Olympic athlete turns down Pence meeting
We kept doing this dance. There was no other option," he says. Just do a little bit and fake my way through it. And I almost did. Yet their relationship had deteriorated to the point where Phelps would change his airline seat whenever his reservation was booked next to Bowman's. Communication away from the pool took place through Words With Friends. When Phelps participated, Bowman knew they were in a good place. When he didn't, he knew they weren't.
But now we can't because he's like a national treasure, so we have to keep doing this. And no one despised coaching more than Bob Bowman. Somehow, they managed to keep it all a secret outside of Phelps' innermost circle.
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It was all spin. Or PR," Bowman says. And honestly, for his future, that's the way it had to be. London ended with a hug and a "good job," and then the two men went their separate ways. But a year later, Phelps told Bowman he wanted to come back. The coach also thought a return to the pool might help the swimmer stay out of trouble.
But that fall, Phelps was arrested and charged with DUI. As the words came through the phone that September morning, a chill came over him. A friend had called to tell him that his son had been arrested on suspicion of DUI.
The details were horrifying: Michael pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months of probation, which he completed Sunday. It was his second DUI in 10 years; the first came in A father trying to reconnect with his son and a son who simply wasn't interested. They were more similar than either chose to admit -- both of them stubborn, hardheaded and unforgiving.
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Fred was a former college football player and a Maryland state trooper for 28 years before moving to an administrative role. He lived in a black-and-white world of right and wrong. Before Michael's rise to stardom, their relationship, even after the divorce, was pretty typical for a father and son.
They'd fish in Maryland reservoirs and attend Orioles games, with Fred using his connections to get Michael into the clubhouse where he once met Cal Ripken Jr.
Debbie believed it was her son's way of protecting her. To this day, Michael won't say a bad word about his mother, who went back to school after the divorce and became an academic administrator to help support the family. He loves his kids," Debbie says.
But I don't think he knew how to fix it. So Michael just kept on escalating and escalating and things were going OK, so he didn't feel like he needed his dad. At one point inMichael agreed to meet with his dad but then blew it off. I don't want that. I don't need that. He sat through the meal without saying a word. Fred is sharing his side of the story in the lobby of a hotel just outside BWI Airport. He rarely does interviews and agreed to speak in this case only because Michael asked him to at ESPN's request.
But there are nerves, anxiety. Fred doesn't want his words twisted or turned in any way to further complicate his relationship with his son.
But there are two moments in particular that bothered Michael. InMichael says, Fred promised to show up for a meet at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, but never did. That day, Phelps set his first short-course U. Three years earlier in Sydney, at Michael's first Olympics, Fred deeply upset Michael when on the first day after competition, he pulled Michael aside to introduce him to his new wife. No one in the family had known that Fred had remarried. He did pretty well. Here is the first day where he can just enjoy being there and he has this dumped on him?
Michael was a basket case. He couldn't deal with it. But Fred continued to follow Michael's career. In Athens inhe cried from 30 feet away when Michael received his first Olympic gold medal. Four years later, he watched most of his son's astonishing performance in Beijing from a Maryland hospital, where his second wife was fighting cancer. Reporters called and knocked on his door. He turned them all away.
He and Michael had the same name -- Michael Fred Phelps. Strangers would see Fred's ID or credit card and ask whether he was related to the Olympic champion. Sometimes he admitted it was his son -- until they started asking for autographs.
Patients invited him to play volleyball, and he began to make friends he still talks to today. That second night, while watching Monday Night Football, he read on the bottom of the screen that USA Swimming had suspended him from competition for six months and had taken away his opportunity to compete at the world championships.
Some of the patients stared. No one knew how to react. Phelps broke the tension. And that night he made a pledge that the world would see him for who he was, not what they wanted him to be. But that wasn't me, you know?
I wanted people to get to know the real me. Phelps shared the lessons of each day's reading with other patients. He opened up to his therapist and other patients about his struggles with his father, his vicious fights with Bowman and the challenges of handling fame. One day, he confessed that he had long seen himself as the "bring the family back together" baby. How does that feel?
I didn't want to go back to that. I didn't know if there would be a conflict between us, so I stiff-armed him and went away.Dance Moms Meet and Greet Atlanta Georgia
Seeing those was pretty crazy. It helped me get my head clear. It's been stuck in my ass for so long. Each morning, he lifted in the facility's gym and cycled 20 miles a day.
Talking to him on the phone, Bowman sensed a change. But not until he visited Phelps did he realize to what degree. He was honest, engaged. I left there that day thinking maybe there's a chance this would help him. So he included the name Fred Phelps. On the day Fred received his invite, he didn't think twice about going. Michael was his son. But that didn't make walking through the doors at The Meadows any easier. Michael was stunned when Fred arrived. He reached out and the two shook hands.
Then Michael pulled him in for a hug. Neither of them could remember the last time they had embraced. Debbie and Michael's girlfriend, Nicole, were there that week too. For the next several days, Michael and his father opened up. Some of the words felt good. They both tried not to take it personally. Phelps is now working to find the same balance and peace that he found in the water on dry land.
Mike Lewis One afternoon, while Michael was in a meeting with a counselor, Fred found his way to the community room and worked on a puzzle for about an hour. The next day, Fred noticed the puzzle was finished. Michael told his dad that after he had left that night, patients finished the puzzle.
I don't think he even knew I liked doing puzzles. Over the course of the week, father and son grew closer and closer. When it was finally time for Fred to head back to Baltimore, he cried.
It was life-changing -- for both of us. We got everything out there. It gave me some insight on everything he had gone through, how I could be supportive. Sometimes they'd talk for half an hour or 45 minutes. The International Olympic Committee announced the addition of five sports to the Olympic program in August Karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing will all be making their debuts in Tokyo, with a key focus on youth, an element central to the Games.
Baseball was contested at the Games fromduring which the U. Softball was on the program from with the U. Gymnast Simone Biles stole the show at the Olympic Games Riowinning five medals, including four golds. After taking time off following her Olympic success, Biles will return to the mat for the first time at the U. Classic in Columbus, Ohio, on July Already the most decorated U. Olympic shotgun athlete Kim Rhode is the only woman from any nation to win six Olympic medals three golds, one silver, two bronzes across six Games.
After earning bronze in Rio inRhode is looking like a strong contender to return to the top of the podium in Tokyo. This past April, she broke her own world record in skeet at a world cup in Changwon, South Korea, and recently won the world cup in Tucson, Arizona, marking her 21st career world cup gold medal.
After giving birth to her first child, Stanley, in AugustJorgensen returned but this time to a different sport: A number of U. Olympic hopefuls have Japanese ancestry or other connections to the host country: Litherland is a Olympian and has his sights set on Tokyo.
Michael Norman track and field: Norman — whose mother is Japanese and moved to the U. Roy — who is of Japanese descent — has family living in Tokyo and met his grandparents for the first time during a world cup trip. Roy is a member of the U. Swimming Junior National Team and is a Olympic hopeful. Erik and Kawika Shoji volleyball: They won the bronze medal in Rio and will look to build on that heading into Tokyo. They both attended Indiana University. Clayton Murphy, who is the Olympic bronze medalist in the meter, is engaged to Ariana Washington, Olympic sprinter.
The two met at the Rio Games during a game of Uno and a date is not set. Two-time Olympian and three-time Olympic triple-jump medalist Will Claye proposed to Olympian Queen Harrison after winning the silver medal at the Games. Want to learn to curl like the pros? Looking for breaking news, videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios all at your fingertips?
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Allyson Felix is the most decorated female track and field athlete in history as a nine-time Olympic medalist — including six gold — and 16 career IAAF World Championship medals. With more Olympic medals in Tokyo, she could tie or surpass U. The Olympic Games Tokyo will be the most gender-balanced Olympics in history. Women will comprise Men and women will also compete in mixed gender events in archery, judo, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, track and field, and triathlon.
Ashleigh Johnson — who is considered the best goalie in the world — will look to anchor the team in Tokyo. The year-old holds camps and clinics for children of color in her hometown to help grow the sport she loves.
Already the only country with four total golds in the event, the U.
Olympic Mom—Sheila Findlay
But it will be an uphill battle; after claiming every world championship gold fromthe U. With a record since the Games, a team comprised of veterans and rising stars has its sights set for redemption in Tokyo.
She topped the podium in theand meter freestyle, as well as the free relay, and added silver in the free relay. She has held the world record in the event since He won individual gold in the and meter freestyle and m butterfly and added four relay medals.
Dressel, who grew up on a farm in rural Florida with a lengthy commute to his training sessions, concluded his remarkable career at the University of Florida last spring when he became the first swimmer to break 18 seconds in the short-course yard free and 40 seconds in the y free.
After struggling with depression following her gold-medal performance at the London Games inSchmitt sought help beginning in and has emerged as a mental-health advocate. She is working toward a social work degree at Arizona State University with the aim of helping others.