Mom Debbie Phelps and coach Bob Bowman not only helped him to become Oly champ, but overcome ADHD
By Erin Keaveney
BEIJING (RUSHPRNEWS) 8/18/08 — When Michael Phelps made Olympic history last night, winning an unprecedented eighth gold medal with a victory in the men’s 4Ã—100 m relay, millions of Americans watching across the world were bursting with pride. But as evidenced with a quick shot to the stands following the race, no one was more proud than his mother.
Debbie Phelps has been a prominent fixture In Beijing, sitting in the crowd at the Water Cube for each of Michael’s races. She has become almost as recognizable as her son, as the NBC audience has come to look forward to the camera panning to her reactions pre- and post race. Clasping her hands, covering her face and holding desperately onto her daughters, Whitney and Hilary, Debbie has been a constant reminder of how even the most legendary swimmer needs support in his lane.
As a child growing up in Baltimore, Michael struggled to find a normal balance in his life. His parents divorced when he was nine, around the same time he was diagnosed with ADHD. Debbie says in several national interviews since what a difficult time that was for her son, but that she never stopped believing in his ability to persevere through adversity.
At age 11, Michael began training with Bob Bowman, his current coach and the one who recognized his extraordinary potential immediately. Bowman approached Debbie about beginning Michael in an intense training schedule, convinced that hard work paired with his natural ability would make her son a star. Rather than letting her skepticism interfere, Debbie embraced Bowman’s vision and encouraged her son to dive into greatness.
Michael has acknowledged the importance of his mom and Bowman’s role in his success, looking up to his extended family in the stands after each of his wins . Recognizing the importance of his support system, he plans to move back to Baltimore after the Games where they are both still based.
Watch Michael Phelps, Debbie Phelps and Bob Bowman in an exclusive in-studio interview tonight on NBC.
To read more about Michael Phelps and his historic turn at the Olympics, visit:
NEWS SOURCE: Hollywood Today