First of all, Olympic champion Michael Phelps is human. He is still a young man and an A-list athlete with raging hormones, testosterone, and attitude—all of which most successful athletes have. That’s why they are driven, to compete and to succeed.
In addition, Phelps does a lot of great things including giving to local charity. He is young and has had to grow up fast, including having to appear perfect in public. As a young man, he can’t even go to a party without someone videoing him on a cell phone – and I bet they’d video him on the toilet if they could!
Why is this happening? Because he’s famous. He’s Michael Phelps, winner of 22 Medals for the U.S.A. I’m sure people want to believe he is God but he was only 17 when he won his first medal and most teenagers are crazy. Phelps had to lock all his hormones in to succeed—and the public should be happy that he is actually a very normal dude. Part of growing up and learning as a young adult is to make mistakes.
One of my friends has a 10-year old son who aspires to be an Olympic swimmer. He thinks of Phelps as a hero and regarding the recent news, although my friend believes it was a obviously a dumb move, he still admires Phelps. Why not? He worked very hard to achieve his success and sacrificed most of his teen years.
So why penalize athlete Michael Phelps for making a mistake? Remember all the politicians who have had public problems, being arrested for drunk driving and/or worse (Marion Barry, Rosemary Lehmberg to name a few). They are still elected over and over again yet shouldn’t they be considered role models too?
I do hope Phelps has some “real” friends in his life and not just the ones that want to use him. Naïvely, even I had fake friends like this until they stomped on my heart… Live and learn and no regrets.
And to you Michael Phelps, the majority of us reasonable people out here are proud of you and want you to have a normal, happy life! Rock on!