Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Michael Phelps Announces Death of Father

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps took to Instagram Monday to announce the death of his father, Fred.

Michael Phelps shared a few throwback photos of him and his late father, with a message included.

“You’ll always be my dad,” he wrote. “And I’ll always be your son…Love you dad and I will miss you rip dad.”

Fred Phelps was a retired Maryland State Trooper who played football throughout high school and college. During the 1970s, he tried out for the now-Washington Commanders of the NFL.

Michael Phelps, the 23-time Olympic gold medal swimmer, had a strained relationship with his dad stemming from his parents’ divorce when he was 9, per Sports Illustrated. The two reconciled after Michael’s arrest on drunk driving charges in 2014.

“I felt abandoned. I have an amazing mother and two amazing sisters,” he told the outlet. “But I would like to have a father in my life, and I’ve been carrying that around for 20 years.”

Michael Phelps, however, said that their relationship had turned for the better.

“Our relationship is really great, and it’s continuing to grow,” he said. “We’ve learned that we have a lot in common.”

Fellow Athletes Send Uplifting Messages to Michael Phelps

Among those to reach out and offer their condolences was Olympic gold medalist skier Lindsay Vonn. Vonn recently announced the death of her mother, Linda, following a year-long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“I’m so sorry for your loss,” Vonn commented on his post. “He will always be there.”

Michael Phelps, a Baltimore native, received an encouraging message from the Baltimore Ravens.

“So sorry for your loss,” the Ravens wrote. “Our Ravens family is sending love.”