Michael Phelps Explains The Moment Behind The ‘Phelps Face’ On ‘The Tonight Show’

The Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio saw world records shattered, human drama perfected, and perhaps the single most important game face in the history of sports. The Phelps Face, as it has come to be known, showed an intense Michael Phelps preparing to take yet another gold medal. It became an instant viral phenomenon, with fans and athletes discussing Michael Phelps grimace (almost) more than his medal count.

However, the general public doesn’t know the story behind the Phelps Face… Until today. Phelps visited the Tonight Show where he explained to Jimmy Fallon that he was totally in the zone and aware of the cameras capturing his classic mug:

“The worst is, I was sitting in the ready room and I always know there are two cameras in the upper right-hand corner right before I walk out, and I’m sitting there spitting water… And as I’m making a face, I was like, ‘yep, that’s on camera.'”

The discussion then shifted somewhat to a sideways remark about Phelps’ disgraced teammate Ryan Lochte, who fabricated a police report saying he was mugged in Rio. It was laughed about, then dropped quickly. Very quickly.

Now we can Tarantino this whole thing and jump to later in the night, when Michael Phelps played a dangerous game of Egg Roulette. His gold medals and teammates can’t help him in a one on one matchup with stakes these high.

(Via The Tonight Show)