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The end of an era

Tonight we watched Michael swim his last short course swim, at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD at the NBAC Christmas Meet.  Our club, NBAC (North Baltimore Aquatic Club) has been hosting this meet for 38 years and we’ve had a Phelps’ swimmer in 25 of those meets, Michael has swam in 18 of them.  As I sit here and type that, it seems more real than simply saying the words out loud.

We started swimming at this meet when I was just a few years older than my 5-year old niece.  The meet has changed pools and venues, but we’ve always been there.  It’s almost surreal.

We had friends and family at the meet all weekend cheering on MP.  It makes no difference if you’re an age group swimmer or the best swimmer in the world, having loved ones there to cheer you on and support you is always the best!  And it always brings a smile to my face to hear my niece and nephew screaming “GO Uncle Michael.”

Tonight, Mom and I had the opportunity and honor to time for Michael’s last race, the 100 free.  There was very little time in between the awesome record breaking 200 backstroke and the 100 free, and Michael commented that he was tired from the quick turnaround. The meet director made a special announcement, indicating that it was in fact Michael’s last race at the Christmas meet before the start of the race and he talked with us about his strategy for the race.

Mom was .02 seconds from the "real time" on the clock! Great job!

Afterwards, Michael warmed down and signed autographs.  He has always been so great about staying after he’s finished swimming and signing shirts, caps and photos for kids and teens alike.  He’s very grounded and appreciative of his fans, and it shows when he stays after the meet and talks to as many people as possible.

People asked us if it was hard, being that this was the last Christmas Meet, and honestly, I’m not sure that the winding down of the last year has sunk in.  But, I do believe that it will be toughest next year, around this time, when we don’t have the Christmas meet to attend.  Who knows… maybe one of the nieces or nephews is next, and we can continue the Phelps’ swimming tradition.

We thank you for all of the kind emails, messages and tweets… from a family who values the little things, it’s appreciated and thoughtful.  We recognize that while it’s meaningful to our family, it’s memorable to you, the fans, as well!


About 70percentwater

14-time Olympic Gold medalist

18 responses »

  1. MP is the last of the great swimmers of my generation. Everything I ever wanted to achieve in swimming, i achieve through him. I hope one day to shake his hand. Or maybe even race him in masters when we’re 60

  2. There will never be a greater swim Olympian then Michael Phelps! His Beijing performance speaks for itself…race after race …Gold after Gold with NO RECOVERY time….Just AWESOME…Thank You Hilary and DP for posting this blog for us swim fans…God Bless MP on his last race year…and London 2012 Olympic journey! Amen 😀

  3. Wait, I’m still confused… Is he retiring???
    What happened to PHELPS!?? NO KEEP SWIMMING!

  4. All I can say is I wish I was there to watch it with you guys. I’m sure they were exciting and memorable moments for all of you 🙂

  5. I’m looking at you since you were 16 years! I’m sooo proud of you! Blessing to you, mama, and sisters! OH forgot – your dog, as well! LOL!!

  6. Michael,s Mom, you are so calm and experienced from many years of being next to the pool. I was timing my daughter’s 1650 yard swim this weekend in Plam Springs,California. I was so nervous ,exciting while alos cheering for her, I forgot to stop the timer when she finished. People always ask me why is swimming so important, do my child like it. I know only swimmer’s parents know this answer. We see them alive in the water. That is why so important for them. Their identity is a” SWIMMER” because that is who they are.

  7. Michael is a phenomenal athlete. It is so nice to hear that he does not let all of this fame get to him. He is truly an inspiration to so many people. It is an honor to have him represent the world of U.S. athletics. I wish I could discuss with him is work ethic, I am a college athlete who has his quotes posted to look at everyday. He is one amazing person. Congratulations Michael for everything you do!!

  8. Eres un ejemplo para los nadadores de todo el mundo. Será muy difícil que alguien repita tu hazaña de las 8 medallas de oro en una olimpiada. Mis hijos te admiran y esperan convertirse en grandes campeones en la piscina y en la vida como tú

  9. It truly is an awesome feeling to be there for your child. My son has been swimming since he was 3 and competitively for the last 2 years. At age 3 he stayed up well into the night to watch Michael swim in the Olympics. He would cheer and say “Mommy, one day I’m going to be like Michael Phelps.” Now that he is 6 his goals in life have changed, however that one remains the same. He loves to watch Micheal swim and cheers whenever he sees him on the television. Thank you for being such an inspiration to him and GOOD LUCK in all you do in the future.

  10. Michael Phelps – simply the best.

    He has taught me soooooo much regarding the sport, particularly the butterfly stroke; however, I am indebted to realize how much he has demonstrated and led by example out of the water too.
    Definitely my idol and hero.

  11. Swimmers like MP makes you love this sport even more, there is nothin more to be thankful with him, even if personally I want him to continue as much as posible, I understand his decision. Thanks Michael for everything!!!

  12. Michael Phelps I love you! I want you to keep swimming, your my hereo! Im a swimmer too. I completely understand that you dont want to swim anymore, but I just hope that one day i will get to see you swim in person then on tv. Ive read all your books, watch all your swim meets, and I have a lot of posters of you in my room.If people ever forget you (they probably wont though) just remember this message and remember me (if you dont thats fine) because I will never ever forget you. I love you Michael Phelps, I truely love you!
    PS if you read this can you keep my friends family in need because they dont have a lot of money and they need a new car, but they have 8 children plus 2 more additions they’re going to adapt, can you please keep them in your prays.Thanks!I love you and never will forget you.

  13. Michael Phelps was simply the best. His legend will live on forever in the hearts of all the swimmers who look up to him. Michael you were my inspiration to start swimming!

  14. Congratulations on everything you’ve accomplished. You deserve every happiness life gives you! Thank you for motivating me and my entire team. I don’t know a single swimmer who doesn’t admire and appreciate everything you’ve done.

    God bless and have a wonderful Christmas!

    Thanks Mike!


  16. Thanks buddy. I mean that sincerely.


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