Just a Normal Guy

By Enya Kuo // Mosaic Staff Writer 

I was shocked to see that he didn’t come in with sparkles in the background and confetti falling around him and trumpet fanfare announcing his entrance. I gestured wildly in his direction, but I didn’t want him to hear me squeal, “He’s here! He’s here!”

Michael Phelps sat. Bob Bowman sat. I sat, but I wanted to jump up and shriek, “It’s Michael Phelps!”

He wore a gray t-shirt. Neon shorts. Slightly messy brown curls peeking out beneath his blue cap. He was so…normal. What?

The other reporters started asking him questions, and I was feverishly debating whether I should take notes or watch him talk, with his slight lisp, his big hands lying on the table, his even bigger shoulders, his slight lean toward the mic. I tried to do both.

It’s Michael Phelps!

The reporters started ignoring poor John Martin, who was in charge of the press conference, and started jumping in with their own questions. I should jump in too. Push back, like Sean Webby said. Okay. Okay.

“Uh, Michael,” I piped up, “when you’re swimming longer sets, what do you think about?”

“Nothing,” he said. “Sometimes it’s brutal how painful it is, or ‘Why is he making us do this?’ but

I guess now I do think more of stroke, about how my technique is because it is challenging for me to get everything back. It’s coming back slowly, but I really don’t think about much when I’m training.”

I TALKED TO MICHAEL PHELPS!

It was a happy day.

 

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