LONDON — Much like with actors in Hollywood, many assume star Olympic athletes have each other on speed-dial. At the very least, the athletic elite spend hours mingling in the Olympic Village, staring at the McDonald's menu that their dietary training restrictions prevent them from devouring. (As Ricky Berens taught us, that comes later.)
Serena Williams is as famous as they come in the London Games, winning her first individual gold medal at Centre Court of Wimbledon on Saturday in straight sets over Maria Sharapova. Having previously competed in the 2000 Sydney Games and the 2008 Beijing Games, one would assume she and Michael Phelps might have met at some point.
That would be an incorrect assumption.
"No, I've never met him," said Williams.
Never? This is what happens when she's Nike and he's Speedo and Under Armour; and when Ryan Lochte gets the Vanity Fair cover for its Summer Games preview.
Williams said she recently had her chance to finally meet Phelps, one of her Olympic idols.
"I was in the [Olympic] Village the other day and I passed by him, and I'm really shy," she said. "And he didn't see me, so …"
Phelps and Williams are nearing the end of their London Games competitions; maybe they can scare up some free time in the coming weeks.
[ Photos: Serena Williams crushes Sharapova to win gold ]
If not, there's always next Olympiad. "Rio, that's where I'll go. I need to get there, Rio," she said.
(Too bad Phelps will be retired, per his mother.)
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