This 2001 video of Michael Phelps entitled, "Part of my interview with some 15-year-old swimmer," shot up the Reddit rankings over the weekend if only because it offers a rare look at the future Olympic legend.
"I don't really live the normal life of a teenager," Phelps told the fledgling television producer in June 2001. "I guess I give up a lot of things, but I'm getting tons of other things that normal 15-year-olds aren't getting, so I think this is a life that anyone can dream of. I'm definitely loving it."
Of course, Phelps wasn't just "some 15-year-old swimmer" at that point. His fifth-place finish in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2000 Sydney Olympics made him the youngest swimmer to compete for the U.S. since 1932, and that spring he had just become the youngest male swimmer ever to set a world record.
Still, it's pretty cool to see the clarity with which a young Michael Phelps sees his future. As he said, "I guess my long-term goal is to win the gold medal in Athens and go in more than one event."
Obviously, Phelps went on to win the first six of his record 18 Olympic gold medals and set the 400-meter individual medley world record in Athens, catapulting the most decorated career in swimming history. Not even Phelps could have imagined such a scenario in his wildest teenage imagination.
As astute Redditors noted, the video takes place at Meadowbrook Aquatic Club in Mount Washington, Md., where Phelps competed as a youth. He later purchased the club in 2008 and now hosts the Michael Phelps Swim School annually at the facility. How times have changed since his pre-learner's permit days.
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