If you mess with Michael Phelps, you mess with America. South African swimmer Chad le Clos learned that the hard way Tuesday.
Le Clos has become an Olympic villain of sorts, at least as far as United States swimming fans are concerned. He beat Phelps four years ago in the 200-meter butterfly in London, then tried to get in Phelps’ head Monday night before a semifinal heat in the same event. That led to this memorable photo:
Phelps got his revenge Tuesday in Rio. He won the 200-meter butterfly. Le Clos finished fourth, off the podium. And the internet tore him to shreds.
Not that Le Clos cares what his rival’s countrymen say on Twitter, and not that he cares what his Wikipedia page says, but Phelps fans didn’t hold back. Here’s a sampling:
Wikipedia was quick to pounce and remove the edits, but Phelps fans would not relent. The edits just kept on coming:
It got so bad that Wikipedia eventually appeared to disable edits on Le Clos’ page.
But that didn’t stop Twitter:
— Eric Fawcett (@Efawcett7) August 10, 2016
Let's check in with Chad Le Clos, I believe senior swimming analyst DJ Khaled has some words of recognition for him: pic.twitter.com/wB2dnbVumu
— Adam Jacobi (@Adam_Jacobi) August 10, 2016
And of course, our good old friend Crying Jordan:
You come at Phelps, you better not miss.