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Day One… It has begun.

It took us a little longer to get here than expected. Delayed on one end, held on the runway for another portion… it reminded us of World Championships in Barcelona in 2003, when it took us almost two full days to get to Spain.

The 14th World Championships are happening this week in Shanghai, China and Michael has said that he will retire after London 2012, making this his last World Championship meet ever. From Barcelona to Montreal to Melbourne to Shanghai, he has swum many a stroke and broke many a records and we’re looking forward to the next few days of swimming coming down the pipeline.

We watched the Men’s 4×100 free relay tonight where Michael swam the first leg, and swam it well. The men came in 3rd place, behind the Australians and the French. While standing on the podium, we could see Michael looking around and were trying to catch his eye by waving our arms in the air. He saw us and waved back. We watched the men receive their medals and walk in front of the media for photographs. Michael then peeled off and came to the other side of the pool to say hello. He talked about the race and handed us the flowers and the stuffed rabbit, which he said was for T (short for Taylor), our niece and our sister Whitney’s daughter. He kissed us and ran off to warm down.

Making our way back to our hotel, we had an authentic Chinese meal at a local restaurant. It’s funny how “Americanized” we are, and noticed it when someone made a comment about how good PF Changs would taste. We had a good laugh and found ourselves grateful for all being together, as we watch Michael wind down his career.

The title of the blog, 70 Percent Water, is two-fold: 1) The earth is (roughly) 70 percent water and 2) our family has probably spent 70 percent of our time around and in the water, in the past, when we were younger as well as today, in the present. Water has been good to our family.

I’ll be writing from Shanghai, posting photos on occasion and sharing with you our experiences from the swim meet in China.

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About 70percentwater

14-time Olympic Gold medalist

36 responses »

  1. Thanks for keeping this blog. My favorite part of this blog and the potential it has, is to hear and see Michael’s family. I love the idea that he couldn’t accomplish any of this without the support of his family and just from what I have seen from the news and now from this blog, it seems that Michael understands that completely. Family is important to everyone. I look forward to your thoughts and insights.

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  2. i’ll miss watching michael swim when he retires, but i’ll be happy for him too!

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  3. Please do not stop posting šŸ˜€

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  4. I love the perspective of a sister. I am always proud of my brother and his accomplishments, so I love to read about Michael from a similar voice. Enjoy your trip. Safe travels to all.

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  5. I’m sad to hear he is going to retire …but better to retire a legend than a burn out šŸ™‚ GO PHELPS!

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  6. Ron Krauskopf

    Thanks for sharing, Hillary. And best of luck, Michael. Enjoy your last big meet; you deserve it.

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  7. I hope Michael’ll win the 200 freestyle tomorow night!

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  8. I’m enjoying your blog re Michaels last year swimming. It’s wonderful to read your view from the sidelines. My 11 year old granddaughter is a competitive swimmer. She has been so lucky the last two years to swim at the NBAC Christmas meet at Annapolis. She got to see Michael swim and in fact this last year swam in the same lane following many of his races so she got up close and personal. As we sat yesterday watching the FINA races on tv, and watched the men’s relay, I said do you know how lucky you are to have met Michael and to have seem him swim and sat right next to him waiting to swim!!! We hope the best for him!!!!

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  9. Thanks for letting us tag along! Best of luck to Michael! His little fans in North Carolina are rooting for him.

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  10. Thanks for sharing this with us. I’m looking forward to reading your impressions! Your blog title is great, by the way.

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  11. scott selnick

    great stuff thank you

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  12. Thanks for the updates!

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  13. Thanks for keeping us posted. Do you know if they are airing the World Championship in the US…would be nice to watch Michael swim his last World Championship. Thanks.

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  14. Thanks for your blog. I enjoyed reading it. I watched Michael swim on TV and was disappointed that the team came in third; however, they swam well and now know what their competition is like. I have no doubt that they will make the necessary adjustments to the relay and have a much faster swim next time.

    I want to share with you how much I’ve enjoyed watching Michael swim over the years. He is truly an inspiration and I am amazed (and impressed) how grounded he has remained during his transition to celebrity status!

    Good luck Michael!

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  15. I cant believe this is going to be the last worlds we see the greatest swimmer in the world race. What a moment in time this will be.Thanks so much for doing this for Micheals fans Hillary! I cant wait to read it each day!! Good Luck in your last worlds Michael. I know I will be holding my breath with you! šŸ˜‰ xo

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  16. Tammy Yeakel-Gawad

    I have a 7 year old son who is a swimmer, yes, we spend a large % of our time around water as well……..good luck @ World Champs and have a safe trip home:)

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  17. Waiting for Michael’s 1st gold medal in Shanghai tommorrow.We believe in him :)))

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  18. Molly McMillan

    Thanks for the recap from the family’s perspective. It makes me feel like I am with you, watching from the sidelines and eating food that no one exactly can be sure what it is… Also, love the 70 Percent Water title! Very fitting. My husband and I love the water too, he played water polo and I swam. Our boys 6 and 2 love the water and plan to join swim team. Thanks to Michael and to your family for all of the time in and around water and for bringing swimming to the forefront of sports!! Can’t wait for more blogging. Love from CA.

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  19. Thank you for this wonderful blog! I am cheering for your brother and his teammates. I know you and your family must be so proud of him. Have fun and enjoy your time in China!

    Tracy šŸ™‚

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  20. Loylene Ruppert

    Great job!!!!

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  21. Great article, love the behind the scenes look.

    Tom
    http://soflanetworking.com
    http://sikaseo.com

    Reply
  22. Adriana17 (Romania)

    Every time the World Championships begin my mood changes completely. I’m watching the competition on TV but I feel that my heart is somewhere in the audience: the applause, the encouragement, the tension, the relief, the wonder. If you hear a fiery voice from behind, don’t turn back: that’s probably my heart shouting. A sad heart because She isn’t beating in palpable bones, but in an invisible and enthusiastic spirit, trying to get close to the pool. Swimming is more than sports, it’s an interesting mixture of anatomy (perfect bodies, tense muscles, the synchronization of movements), mood swings … and WATER: friend or enemy? Only luck knows, I guess. I’m already feeling sad about these being the last World Championships for Michael, but, as a friend said, it’s more important to enjoy the present. Phelps has already won our hearts. This seems enough to me. But I guess no one would complain if he won some medals too. Wish you luck! šŸ™‚

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  23. Thanks – this is going to make a lot of US fans very happy to be able to read about the day-to-day things in this momentus time for Michael!! He is truly a role model to dedication, commitment, and excellence in his sport and has put swimming back on the map these past years!! Thank you for your part in his success – I know he could not have done this without his family’s support!

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  24. Can’t wait 2 here more…hope Michael finishes his best yet!!! Keep up the good work!!!

    Mark

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  25. Hi Hilary,

    Hope the Phelps family is doing well.

    I am a 15-year-old kid living in Toronto, Canada writing to not only thank you for your kind blogs and updates; but also to my favourite athlete of all-time: Michael Phelps, and to wish him good luck in all of his upcoming swims.

    I love the sport of swimming and Michael Phelps! After reading his books, “Beneath the Surface” and “No Limits: The Will to Succeed”, I understand that he your family has overcome a lot to get to where you folks are today; a very special congrats!

    I’m extremely appreciative of both yourself and Whitney to push Michael to try swimming during his early years with NBAC.

    Wishing you the best in all of your family’s future endeavours,
    -Vrajesh Dave

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  26. It is fun to hear what happens that we don’t see on TV-like your bro coming over to see you!!:)

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  27. What a treat thank you for the blog ..!!
    I am a big fan ~The best to Michael and his family.

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  28. I mind mind what it really means to American or Chinese about “how good PF Changs would taste”, I like it. I also have Chang in my name. Authentic Chinese already – in USA! Nice!

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  29. I’m an Aussie but a huuuuuge fan of Michael’s.. Really hoping he does well!!

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  30. This is a wonderful blog Hilary, so nice of you to share this experience with us phelps fans…and a keepsake for years to come for your family..God Bless..and Thank you again…:D Phelps Phan for life šŸ˜€

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  31. Kathleen gallagher

    Ohh Michael has been such an inspiration! Ever since I’ve started, I’ve only wanted to get better, and I wish Michael the best in shanghai! Thankyou Hilary for this great blog!!!!!:) tell him I said good luck!!

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  32. Thanks so much for sharing. Awesome family pictures!

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  33. welcome to shanghai

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  34. It sounds good!

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  35. Authenic Chinese food or Americanized Chinese food?lol

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  36. Hello! I love swimming. I have lessons with a teacher, I’m on vacation right now. What I really liked going to the competition but only got about two years of swimming. It’s very little I know, but I’m still very new … Do you think that someday I will get there? With best wishes šŸ™‚

    Reply

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