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chris fall by rainbowkisses31
I've been reading some more articles about Michael Phelps--this part of one cracked me up:

A half-hour before afternoon practice, Phelps parks the Escalade and shuffles into the Meadowbrook lobby, his step jaunty, his long muscled body hidden beneath the parka. He stops and plays with a puppy and opens a shipment of bathing suits and is chagrined to discover that his supplier sent him women's suits, not men's.
"What am I supposed to do with these?" he says, more amused than annoyed.

Hehe--the most famous swimmer in this country since Mark Spitz, and the place he orders his Speedos from (which, I guess would be Speedo, since they sponsor him) can't even get his gender right! LOL!

And, he would have to be a nice guy too:

Phelps sets world records, finds time for small friend

08/06/03 by Nelson Coffin

World champion swimmer Michael Phelps, right, befriended Stevie Hansen, 8, last year. In the midst of a stringent training schedule, Phelps is helping Hansen with his swimming performances. Turns out the best swimmer on the planet is also a world-class person.

Michael Phelps, just back from the FINA World Championships in Barcelona with a cluster of gold medals for himself and a like amount of glory for his North Baltimore Aquatic Club, saved an extra-long hug Saturday morning for Stevie Hansen.

The sandy-haired 8-year-old from Timonium was one of many youngsters on hand at a "welcome home" celebration for Phelps at the club's home port, the Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center in Mt. Washington.

The first swimmer to ever set five world records _ and the first to register two in one day at the same meet _ has been pals with Hansen since last Halloween. That's when Phelps visited the Pot Spring Elementary School student the day before Hansen was to undergo surgery for a brain tumor.

On that day, the new friends played a little basketball, goofed around and talked, just like a lot of buddies do.

Then, while Hansen was recovering from his operation, a basket of junk food festooned with balloons arrived in his room at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

"He was still really out of it," said Hansen's mom, Betsy. "But the first thing he did was grab those balloons and hold on. Then he went right back out again."

Three weeks later, Stevie was invited to watch Phelps swim at Meadowbrook.

And before Phelps went on his record-breaking tear in Europe, he still found enough time to coach Hansen off the starting blocks at a meet.

Apparently, Phelps is also a pretty good coach, because Hansen has shaken off the effects of radiation therapy well enough to post three top-five finishes while swimming for Springlake in the Straehle Invitational a couple of weeks ago.

Phelps, of course, was busy in Barcelona the week of the Straehle, earning those four gold medals and a pair of silvers to earn male Swimmer of the Meet honors.

Here are just two examples of how good the recent Towson High grad was when matched against the sport's elite.

Even in defeat to Ian Crocker in the 100 butterfly, Phelps bettered his own world mark.

And, when matched up against Australian superstar Ian "the Thorpedo" Thorpe in the 200 individual medley, Phelps finished a stunning 3.62 seconds ahead of his rival.

Coming off the spectacular showing has not changed the Rodgers Forge resident's mindset. Phelps will continue to work toward his ultimate goal, the 2004 Olympics in Athens and a showdown with both Thorpe and the legacy of seven-time gold-medal winner Mark Spitz.

"Right now I'm refocusing and trying to get ready for the nationals," said Phelps about the event at the University of Maryland in College Park that began earlier this week. "Having the home crowd behind me will really be exciting."

Phelps will undoubtedly be the center of attention in College Park, a distinction deserved according to NBAC founder Murray Stephens.

"Michael has basically set a standard for himself and the program that's difficult to criticize," said Stephens. "I mean, he's missed only about one or two practices a year for six years. And practice to him is a serious thing, not playtime. He's here to be challenged."

Stephens brought in Head Performance Coach Bob Bowman in 1996, giving Phelps and other NBAC swimmers _ 14 of whom are competing in College Park this week _ stability at the top.

Stephens, Bowman and the other NBAC hierarchy have fashioned a program many feel is second to none in the country.

That strength is evident in the eight NBAC performers, including Phelps, Meghan Sackett (Dulaney High School), Ellen Brooks (Bryn Mawr School), Claire Hutchinson, Kevin Clements, Courtney Francik, Amanda Dunnigan, Emily Goetsch (Roland Park Country School) and James Barone, who have all qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials next July in California.

As for Phelps, he's qualified in nine or more events in his quest to branch out from being a 15-year-old butterfly specialist in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

"We sold him on the idea of doing multiple things," said Stephens. "And he's happy not just to be a butterflyer. He wanted more than that."

Whether or not he wanted to be put on a higher pedestal than he already is does not matter.

Because, even though Stevie Hansen would not come right out and say Phelps was his hero, Betsy Hansen had no qualms about letting people know exactly how she feels about him.

"I don't know how many people know what a poised, kind, loving young man he is," said Betsy Hansen. "But he is. And he really has a soft spot for Stevie. It's a genuine affection. I know he wouldn't do it just for show."

Aww--that's nice that he really seems to be grounded and have a good head on his shoulders. I approve wholeheartedly.

But, because while I think he's a nice kid and I like reading more about him, I am still definitely in awe of his body, therefore:

Now, off to bed!

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I just noticed the tatoo. *flails*

*hunts for more tatoo pics*

oh wow.. I didn't know Phelps was from Maryland.. cool.. I live not far from MD.

*tilts head* *squints* why didn't he pull that thing a little lower, I wanna see that damn tattoo!

While he's a sweet kid, I'm really damn proud that Thorpie beat him!! Go Thorpie!!

Man, these Games have really brought out the patriot in me, lol!

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