Michael Phelps is amazing, everybody knows this, but even he loses every once in a while and clearly he does not like it. In 2012, South African Chad le Clos upset Phelps in the 200m butterfly, something that was clearly not lost on the American as he prepared to swim the event in Rio Monday night. It was Phelps chance to get into the final on Tuesday and exact some revenge on le Clos four years later and his focus was on a billion as the South African swimmer shadowboxed in the typically quiet and calm prep room.
Eventually, Phelps finished 2nd in his qualifier, just ahead of le Clos, and set up another showdown in the finale Tuesday night. His time of 1:54.12 was the 2nd fastest overall and the rivals will line up next to each other in the race for the medals. The win was cool, but it was Phelps death stare before while le Clos danced around that got everybody’s attention, to which Phelps said afterwards “I tried not to really even look at him. He does his thing, I do my thing.”
Phelps’ “thing” made for an extraordinary 30 seconds of television as he sat in a corner with a pair of headphones on his ears and a hoody over his head like a Sith Lord and the internet caught wind of it quick and went crazy.