Michael Phelps Has 2020 Tokyo Olympics Viewers Freaking Out Over His New Bearded Look

by Katie Maloney

Certainly, Michael Phelps is one of the greatest Olympic athletes of all time. Phelps has taken home 23 Olympic gold medals, three silver medals, and two brown medals. He’s won 27 gold medals at Worlds and 16 gold medals at the Pan Pacific Championships. Additionally, he’s set 39 world records throughout his career.

During his last swim at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Phelps won gold in the 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter medley, 4×100-meter freestyle, 4×200-meter freestyle and 4×100-meter medley. He also won silver in the 100-meter medley. In conclusion, Michael Phelps is an Olympic legend.

However, this year, fans were checking out Phelps in a totally different way. And it had nothing to do with his swimming talents. This year, Phelps joined the Olympics not as an athlete but as a commentator for NBC’s broadcast of the sporting event. Well, he made his debut yesterday and fans are freaking out.

For most of his career, Phelps had to shave from head to toe before competitions. All swimmers do so as a way to reduce drag and enhance confidence with a more streamlined sensation in the water. So, fans never got to see Phelps with a whole lot of hair. Well, that all changed yesterday when he stepped into the broadcaster’s seat. Phelps showed up with a full beard! And now, fans are awakening to attractions they never knew they had for Michael Phelps.

Fans Are Loving Michael Phelps’ New Beard

One fan shared a screenshot from the broadcast and wrote, “michael phelps with a beard is something i did not know i needed… look at him he’s so fine oh my god.”

Another viewer wrote, “god **** Michael Phelps has gold medal hair.”

One more fan shared a hilarious side by side of a nerdy-looking guy and actor Chris Evans. Along with the photo, they wrote, “michael phelps vs. michael phelps with a beard.”

How Is Phelps Doing as a Commentator?

Michael Phelps will continue to call selected swimming events with Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines. Phelps will also contribute features as a correspondent during primetime coverage. Phelps certainly has experience as an Olympic swimmer. He swam in five Games from 2000-16. However, this is his debut as an Olympics broadcaster. So, how’s he doing? Well, fans seemed to be too distracted by his facial hair to have anything good or bad to say about his performance as a commentator. But, fellow broadcaster, Rowdy Gaines, said he was confident in Phelps during an interview earlier this month.

“I know he’s going to offer some incredible insight on especially those races that he has won so many gold medals in,” Gaines said.

For any fans who just can’t get enough Michael Phelps, you can watch a look-back film about Phelps’ career via NBC’s streaming service Peacock. However, you’ll have to tune into the Olympic swimming events to see more of Michael Phelps and his beard.