Whether you love sports or not, you might have heard the name Michael Phelps. The Olympic athlete star who achieved 28 medals including 23 gold in swimming from five Olympic games (including Rio Olympics 2016). Phelps has written his name as the most medal wins by an athlete in the Olympics history.
Phelps, started his Olympics career in 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics, when he was just 15-years-old as the youngest American swimmer ever participated in the Olympics in 68-years. But he had to wait for another Olympic summer to achieve his first Olympic medal. In 2004 Olympic Games held at Athens, Greece, Phelps became the superstar winning six gold and two bronze medals. Phelps also scored eight gold medals in the 2008 Beijing games. In 2012 London Olympics, Phelps achieved 6 medals, four of which were gold. Each success made Phelps much more popular along with a huge fan base. But even the greatest success couldn’t make him happier in life.
In September 2014, Phelps had reached a situation of no return.
Phelps told ESPN, “I was a train wreck. I was like a time bomb, waiting to go off. I had no self-esteem, no self-worth. There were times where I didn’t want to be here. It was not good. I felt lost.”. During this time, photos of Phelps smoking marijuana and drinking spread across social media. He was arrested two times for drunk driving. All these had made him down. He struggled with suicidal thoughts.
Phelps Realizes The Power of God.
However, God stepped into his situation, through his Christian friend and NFL star, Ray Lewis. Lewis gave him a call and inspired him. “This is when we fight. This is when real character shows up. Don’t shut down. If you shut down we all lose.” Lewis could able to convince Phelps to seek help at the Meadows rehab center. He also gave him ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ a book written by Pastor Rick Warren. Phelps read the book and it transformed him completely. Lewis received a call from Phelps “Man this book is crazy! The thing that’s going on…oh my gosh…my brain, I can’t thank you freaking enough, man. You saved my life.” The biggest super star in the Olympic games history had realized there is a power which is greater than himself and the purpose of his life.
“I started believing there is a power greater than myself, and there is a purpose for me on this planet.”
Phelps stayed at the rehab till November 2014 and left as a changed man.
Phelps returned to his training and attended the recent 2016 Rio Olympics, the American golden fish won 6 medals including 5 gold and 1 silver. Michael Phelps, the 31-year-old American is much stronger than before, swimming to the next milestone with the power of God.