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Shannen's Heap o'Random Babblings

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Awwww!!!! And squeeeee!!!!
chris fall by rainbowkisses31
shannenb
Looks like Chief (if Michael decided to stick with that name)has joined the Phelps family and is keeping Michael company in Ann Arbor:

Striking gold

Pioneer Elementary School gets visit from Olympic swimmer

By David Wendell
SUN CORRESPONDENT

U.S. Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps visited Pioneer Elementary School in Bolingbrook last week to conduct a school rally and to meet one lucky student.

Second-grader Zachary Barangan won the privilege of a one-on-one meeting with Phelps as part of a promotion by Meijer Superstores.

Zachary was excited to meet the swimmer and had several questions at the ready. The five-time world champion seemed equally prepared, flashing a smile and talking about not swimming, but pets.

"I like dogs," Zachary said. "They're my favorites."

Phelps nodded in agreement, saying, "Mine, too. I just got a bulldog."




The student's mind, however, was not so much on canines as it was on competition. He wanted to know how many medals Phelps had received and wondered if he had brought any with him.

Zachary said he earned a gold medal in soccer with the Naperville Lightning Soccer Club last year but didn't bring the medal with him to school. At that, Phelps brought out one of the six gold medals he won at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He draped it around Zachary's neck.

"It's a lot heavier than mine," Zachary said, smiling.

Zachary also wanted to know how much practice it took to win all those medals.

Phelps outlined his daily regimen, explaining that he works out four to six hours a day, six days a week.

"And I do get tired," he confessed.

Zachary, who likes swimming but is more keen on soccer, wasn't so sure about putting in that many hours a day. When asked if he would be willing to practice that much, he shrugged. "Maybe," he said.

Phelps' mother, Debbie, who was also on hand, revealed that Phelps wasn't always as enthusiastic about practice. From grade school on, she had to struggle to get him up early in the morning to get to the pool.

"There were times when I had to force him to get up," she said. "He'd always pull the covers over his head at 5:30 a.m. when I came to get him."

Her perseverance paid off, though. Phelps went on to compete in the 2000 Olympic Games at the age of 15 and won 20 national swimming titles before winning six gold medals and two bronze medals at the 2004 Olympics.

He continues to compete while attending the University of Michigan.

Despite the accolades, he remains modest.

"I don't see myself as a celebrity. I'm just a swimmer," he said. "It's fun."

That's the message he told the students at Pioneer Elementary School last week, especially Zachary.

"Dream big, Zach," he said. "Shoot for goals at school and have fun."

Zachary seemed to like the time he spent with the gold-medal swimmer. The last thing he said before Phelps left the school was, "I hope to meet him again."


Awwww! He's so adorable! I'm grinning just imagining him as a doggie daddy!