Idol Chatter

2770812057_d31fdb2417_zMichael Phelps made history after he became the first American male swimmer to quality for five Olympics.

On Wednesday evening Phelps beat out Tom Shields by almost a second. Shields shook his head when asked what it would take to beat Phelps.

“I’m still trying to figure out how so I can have that stop happening,” he said, echoing the lament of so many world-class swimmers who’ve gone head to head with Phelps.

Phelps’ victory was in the 200-meter butterfly, which holds a unique place in Phelps’ career. It was the race in which he first qualified for the Olympics as a 15-year-old, the youngest American male swimmer ever to break a world record. He still holds the fastest 200 butterfly times in history.

However, it was also the race where Phelps lost to South African Chad le Clos at the 2012 Olympics. Phelps gained some revenge last summer when he re-established himself as the fastest in the world with a time better than le Clos’ gold-medal mark. Phelps will be competing against him again at the Rio Olympics this summer, a chance to fully redeem himself.

It’s amazing the accomplishments that Phelps has made since 2012, where he thought he never wanted to swim again. He had plunged into an emotional abyss and was arrested, but soon found love and became a dad..

“With everything that’s happened to me, sort of being able to come back, that was probably harder than any swim I’ve had in my life. … Just being able to finish [my career] how I want to is so important to me.” Phelps said, just moments after the race on Wednesday, holding back tears.

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