As Michael Phelps wound down from making his record fifth Olympic team Wednesday evening at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming, he did a Facebook Live session, where he reflected on his accomplishment of becoming the first U.S. men’s swimmer to qualify for a fifth Olympic team and was greeted by the Dara Torres, the only other U.S. swimmer to compete in five Olympic Games.
“Today was a fun day,” he reflected. “Getting my fifth Olympic team. Pretty cool. Boomer was awake for the race, which was awesome. And I got to see him after. Not super pumped about the time, but got on the team, punched the ticket. Now we’ve got a month to do some work. Being here is all about getting to swim. Being able to punch the ticket, get first or second and get on the team. That’s what we needed to do today and that’s what we did.”
He spent time with Torres, a 12-time Olympic medalist who is tied for the most decorated U.S. Olympic women. She recognized Phelps’ achievement with a greeting to his fans.
“We’re in ‘The Five Club’ together!” she said.
“This is my mom, she’s like my mom,” Phelps said by way of introduction. “Dara was on my first team with me.”
“He was this 15-year-old boy,” she recalled. “No hair on his face or anything.”
“We were on an Olympic team together in 2000,” Phelps told his audience. “I would always joke about how she was my mom because I was so young. I will not be following her footsteps and swimming at 45. Thirty-one and I’m done.”
Torres was 41 years old when she swam at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and won three silver medals. She fell short of qualifying for her sixth Olympic team at the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Fans asked why Phelps didn’t swim the 200-meter freestyle at the Olympic Trials.
“I wasn’t planning on swimming the 200 free. It was something I didn’t want to do. I didn’t think I needed to swim it,” he said. “I swam a big program in 2008. I tried to do a big program in 2012 and it didn’t really work out. We’re trying to keep our event program fairly small and manageable for us. There was no way I was going to do the 400 IM, that was definitely a no-go. That was a very happy no-swim.”
As the live session concluded, Phelps was walking out of the CenturyLink Center, heading to dinner with Torres and his family.