Who better for a swimmer to lean on for support at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics than Michael Phelps, the man who has won more Olympic medals than anyone in history?
That’s right — Michael Phelps is back at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, this time around, he is serving as a primetime NBC correspondent covering swimming. He will be joining the booth alongside Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines.
That came as some of the best news in the world to United States swimmer Allison Schmitt. Michael Phelps is evidently one of her closest friends. She explained as much to People Magazine.
“I’ve lived with him for the past five years, he’s like a brother to me. To have him here, even though he’s not swimming, to have him here and his support is huge. Not only for myself, but for all of Team USA,” Schmitt said.
As we mentioned above, Michael Phelps has won 28 Olympic medals. That’s more than anyone in history. And he’s won 23 gold medals — also more than anyone in history. Meanwhile, Allison Schmitt has put together a pretty impressive resume herself. She is currently an eight-time Olympic medalist. The two friends both shared the same coach in Bob Bowman and have always been in each other’s corner.
Michael Phelps Was There When Schmitt Qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
As a matter of fact, Phelps was there when Schmitt qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — her fourth Olympic appearance altogether — back in June. That happened at the swimming trials event in Omaha, Nebraska. After qualifying, Phelps sprinted down from the stands to share in the special moment with his friend. They both shared a long hug and shed some happy tears.
Team USA Swimming shared a photo of the two together on their official Instagram account.
“Only fitting that a legend gets a greeting from the [goat],” Team USA wrote.
Now that she is officially in Tokyo with Team USA, Schmitt will be looking to add to her huge collection of medals. Those include four golds, two silvers, and two bronzes. They got off to a good start on Saturday, qualifying for the women’s 4×100 meter relay final. Allison Schmitt is part of that team alongside Olivia Smoliga, Catie de Loof, and Natalie Hinds. They finished with the second-fastest time in the event, just behind Great Britain.
“Mentally keeping calm, that’s what I’ve been really focusing on during high-pressure moments,” Hinds told People. “I know at trials that was a huge test. If I could do it there, I could do it here.”
For fans who are looking to tune in to watch the 4×100 meter relay final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it will take place on Sunday.