The last Olympic swimming trials in Omaha are going to be remembered as the day Michael Phelps earned a position in the United States Olympic team for the 5th time. He is the first male swimmer ever to do it, and he joins Darra Torres, a legendary female swimmer, in this very exclusive group. Phelps’ fiancé was there holding his
Phelps’ fiancé was there holding his newborn in her arms watching the trials and joining the fans in the celebration after the most decorated athlete in the Olympic Games touched the wall.
“With everything that’s happened and being able to come back, that was probably harder than any swim I’ve had in my life,” Phelps said on an interview.
Michael Phelps dominated the men’s 200M butterfly trial stopping the clock at 1:52:84 to end up in the first place followed by Tom Shields, who completed the course in 1:55:81. Days ago, Shields publicly challenged the legendary swimmer to win the race, and he delivered.
With 18 Olympic gold medals, Michael Phelps is the most decorated swimmer in the world. He has claimed 22 medals for the United States in his previous participations. He is looking for a great closure of his career in Rio.
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) June 30, 2016
The Olympic swimming trials in the United States are incredibly competitive
Every Olympic trial’s hard, but the nature of the swimming trials puts a lot of stress on the aspirants, especially in the North American country. The U.S. has a lot of talented swimmers, but to earn a spot in individual competition at the Olympics, an athlete has to finish one of the trials at the first or second position. After that, everybody loses. They can be included in group competitions, though.
That is why even big names like Phelps can be left out, and that almost happens to Missy Franklin. The four-times gold medalist had a lot of complications last night when she ended up seventh in the women’s 100m backstroke, an event she won at the 2012 Olympics in London. However, she showed what she is made of in the 200m freestyle course to end up in the second place securing a seat in the airplane to Rio.
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) June 27, 2016
The odds were against Franklin in this trial. Katie Ledecky was the favorite after winning the 400m free trial, and unsurprisingly, she won the 200m to earn a second individual competition in Rio. However, Franklin managed to sort the heavy competition Lea and Allison Smith presented by touching the wall after Ledecky.
“Last night was really tough and coming back from that, I was telling myself, ‘I’m not done fighting. I’m not done with believing in myself,” Franklin said. “That’s probably the most proud race I’ve ever swam in my entire career, coming back from such a loss last night and telling myself that I still have it in me to do whatever I believe I can do.”
The trials will continue at Omaha until July 3 when the Olympic swimming team that is going to represent the United States in Brazil is completed.