Popularity Of Michael Phelps Shows Up In Ticket-Sale Stats For Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Michael Phelps, by Peter Bick

The finals sessions for the men’s 100m butterfly (Michael Phelps Vs Chad Le Clos and Co?) and the men’s 50m freestyle (Cesar Cielo and Bruno Fratus to the fore of Brazilian hopes at home) are among the most popular of events for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games so far based on requests for tickets; and what would Winthrop have made of Boston’s teetering Olympic bid?

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The finals sessions for the men’s 100m butterfly (Michael Phelps Vs Chad Le Clos and Co?) and the men’s 50m freestyle (Cesar Cielo and Bruno Fratus to the fore of Brazilian hopes at home) are among the most popular of events for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games so far based on requests for tickets; and what would Winthrop have made of Boston’s teetering Olympic bid?



Most US swimming fans are anxious to know how fast MP can go this summer. The original plan was for him to swim in Kazan to see how well he is able to rise to the challenge that the world’s best competitors provide. His DUI conviction and the subsequent penalties from US Swimming that resulted from it have prevented that from happening; however, it also seems like they provided him with the “cold slap of reality” he needed to put himself in the proper frame of mind to train seriously for Rio. Now his goal meet will be US LC Nationals, and the question is, given his age and amount of training he has done and the fact that he will not have any serious competition, how fast can Phelps swim?

My guesses:
100 fly – 50.9
200 IM – 1:55.2
100 free – 48.4
200 free – 1:46.2


I don´t think he will break 51.. Maybe on Rio.. but maybe not enough to win.. and won´t break Crocker 50.40.

That 100 is feasible, but I expect something around 48,7. Also I do not expect a 47 flat start from him like some people are.

200 IM he can do a 1:55 but I expect a 1:56, he has no competition at all (I Don´t expect Nolan to push him, if Nolan goes 1:59 would be already a huge evolution for him)

200 free is feasible.

Craig Lord

Roy: yes, Chad very impressive but forget the s/c stuff… comparisons show as much evidence for saying Chad doesn’t stack up long from short as it does to suggest he does stack up in that regard: the evidence in both cases presents a false picture. Such comparison is irrelevant in the end, especially for a swimmer who has proven himself many times long-course and has a full record in 50m pools from which to gauge where he’s been and where he might be going. S/C is a smoke screen that stretches to then trying to say where swimmers fit in a field that includes rivals that simply don’t show up to ever show us what they might have in s/c metres.


@Roy and @Rafael: Even with limited training time and intensity last year he was only 0.2 from dipping under 51! If Le Clos swims under 51, as I suspect he will, I think Michael will want to respond in his race (later the same day) by doing the same!

I admit it will take longer to get into 200 IM shape, but I definitely think he’ll be motivated enough to get below the 1:56.0 he did last year. I can’t believe Lochte and Hagino will be far from 1:55.0, and Phelps will want to be in the conversation for that event in Rio too. Maybe 1:55.5?

I actually don’t think he’ll swim the 100 free at all unless it’s leading off the NBAC relay because the 100 free final is only a few minutes before the 200 IM final. In the 200 free I think he’ll just want a top 4 US time.

Craig Lord

Michael Phelps has a 48.08 textile best (relay lead as well) that is four years old. If all goes as well as it could, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him go faster in mature mode and beyond a focus that still included 200 fly and 400IM but no longer does. Roy, when you say ‘swimmers who usually go 47 relay start’ you’re talking about … Magnussen, Adrian and Grechin – not a single occasion at Europeans and Pan Pacs last year. It has been very rare: 4 performances by 3 men… No 4 performer all-time lead-off relay in a textile suit: Phelps, 48.08


I Think Phelps can go 47 relay start, but not flat..

Having a slow field usually hurts Phelps

He almost did not final at London 400 IM due to everbody going slow.. and that left Cseh out.. If Cseh tried to pass Phelps or Nevo went a little faster he would not final!



While I think Phelps can go 48 low.. sub-48 might be hard because of his front speed.

Craig Lord

Rafael, we don’t think he can go low 48, we know he can because he’s done it 🙂


Having a look on MPs times last year (as Danjohnrob said with limited training) i’m very optimistic for Rio.

I think a well trained and tapered Phelps is able to go even for the 200 im world record. For the 100 fly i predict a 50,30. My money ison Michael, that’s for sure.


I think MP will want to show some good 100 free speed this summer because it’s a data point to help him gauge where he is in his 100 fly training and to prove he should be in consideration for the US relay in Rio (because he will not have another taper meet before OT). He did swim 48.45 at Pan Pac’s with less training, but without competition I don’t think he’ll be near his textile best or break 48 this season. In fact, I’ve heard him say in interviews re: 100 free/fly races that he gauges his first 50 speed by this competitors. Anyway, I’m just guessing NBAC will stage a relay to give him a 100 free time; if he swims the 100 free final, his 200 IM time will not be under 1:56 because there is only one women’s race scheduled between the men’s 100 free and 200 IM.



Well his 100/200 free will be for relay purpose only.

Considering the situation of current 100 he would need to swim near his PB just for final.. and would tire him (He probably doesn´t have the same endurance as 2008), the 200 also would tire him for a not sure medal.

Even if he swims only a 48 mid high and 1:46 it would probably be enough for him to be on Rio..

Craig Lord

roy, he was past his peak at that stage, it might be said, but he was also still working on multiple events as peak targets. The idea of targeting the 100m free was a serious one for a short while but was put on ice at a time of 47.5 on the way to 47.1 (Magnussen) and at a time of other targets, including four events in which he had a shot at becoming the first man to join the Olympic triple crown club – he managed that in two solo of those four events. A narrower focus could make for an interesting result, if all goes well (and it is what he wants and targets, of course)


@Rafael: Of course I’m not suggesting he’d try to swim the 100/200 free individual enents in Rio! But he would want to swim in the 4×100/200 relays not just to win another medal but to help the US Team win gold. To do that he knows he’s going to have produce splits like he did in London, which means that by next summer he’d need to be at 48.0 and 1:45 low flat start.

He’s not going to accept just making the US Team, he wants to be chosen for a finals spot. If he didn’t place top 2 in the 100/200 free at Trials or give the coaches some indication he could produce a 47 or 1:44 relay split he’d be expected to swim prelims to qualify for a spot on the finals relay like the #3-#6 placed swimmers at Trials.

Italian fan

I’ve read comments above and I’d like to remind something.

1) Phelps swam his textile-best in 100 fly (50.65) and 100 free (48.08) in 2010 at Irvine (the first one at Nationals in early August, the latter at Panpacs two weeks later) after a really sluggish year of training (Phelps told of a(nother) trip in Las Vegas in that year just a few days before Nationals, and swam a curious – perhaps a Bowman punishment..- 400 im at Panpacs, for which he wasn’t trained at all, beyond 200 free, 200 im, 100 fly and the relays in 5 days; so, he swam, in the last day of Panpacs, that 48.08 lead-off certainly in not-ideal condition of freshness).
Thus, no doubt that Phelps could do better in 100 fly and 100 free.

2) Someone remind Phelps-split in the 4×100 free relay in London? He swam 47.25 and everyone knows that Phelps isn’t absolutely a relay-specialist (slow relay-start). Considering Phelps attitudes, that 47.2 was an extremely probable under-48″ with flat-start.

So, also considering his 30 years of age, I’ve no doubt that Phelps could swam his personal-best in 100 fly and 100 free at Rio, obviously if he’s going to train better than he did in that 2010-2012 and, like Craig wrote, with the positive effects of a narrower focus upon two individual races instead 4 or 5.

But he’s going to train better, with real will, or his actual aims are others??


Well said italian fan – and I’d like to note that it was even faster, a 47.15 not .25.

I have no doubt that Phelps can get to a 47 flat start and a 50 point for free and fly respectively. Now how low exactly, I don’t know. But he’ll be down there.

Without his alcohol issues, more motivation, a stronger and more mature body focusing on shorter distances without the 2fly and 4IM… damn I wouldn’t bet against the GOAT.

Craig Lord

All good Italian fan… I agree that in textile I see no reason why he could not improve on the clock (all being well on desire etc) …on the splits, the 48.08 was from Shanghai 2011 lead off… Pan Pacs 2010 was close, at 48.13

Italian fan

Thanks HKSwimmer and Craig for your accuracy: I wrote (as usual) without checking times, only remembering events and races.., but, I think, the meaning is there.

About that astonishing (considering Phelps attitudes and that physically and psychologically draining 400 im the day before) 47.15 in the London relay, anyone knows the exact Phelps R.T. after Adrian lead-off?


@Italian fan: I absolutely agree! Phelps’ split on that relay was astonishing! I was just trying to find his reaction time the other day, but I couldn’t find it.

Rain Maker

It’s fun to speculate so…

100 fly – 50.6
200 IM – 1:54.8
100 free – 48.1
200 free – 1:45.5


I re-watched men 200 fly London final the other day, and the crazy thing is that Le Clos was looking around underwater to see where his competitors were. He did it after the final turn underwater, pay attention at 5:20 to 5:23



About Phelps,
Make no mistake he will target 100 fly and 200 IM and will swim 100/200 free only for relays.

Rain Maker

I can see aswimfans reasoning…winning the 100 fly /200 IM would give him 4 straight golds in each event. A feat that may never be equaled considering he was the first to win 3 consecutive golds in an individual event.



Phelps is not the first to win 3 consecutive golds. Dawn Fraser did it 50 years ago, Egeeszegi did it 20 years ago. Fraser would have four-peat also if she had not been banned by the draconian Australia Swimming.
Phelps is the first among men, but he wouldn’t have been if cheating Mellouli still banned for Beijing.


Or if Salkinov was not prohibited to swim at LA.. he was too far ahead in 1984 of everyone on 1500..


If Phelps is able to win either the 100 fly or 200 IM in Rio, he will be only the third athlete in Olympic history to win the same individual event in 4 Olympic games (along with Al Oerter – discus, and Carl Lewis – long jump). If he wins both he will be the first person to win more than 1 individual event 4x. If the US wins the 4×100 medley and 4×200 free relays with MP swimming, Phelps will additionally win 2 team events in 4 Olympics. I’m know of a few athletes who have won 1 team event 4x, but I’m not sure if any have won 2 team events 4x.


I think finishing a quadruple 4-peat in a year numbered 2016 would be cool because 4×4=16!


If Phelps four-peat, that record will not be broken for a loooooooonnnggggg time, and that’s why I had already predicted him to un-retire after London when everyone else did not think so or preferred him to stay retired.

Phelps is probably the most competitive person on earth, and he won’t be happy that he shares the three-peat achievement with Fraser and Egeeszegi.


I wrote Egerszegi and the phone’s autocorrect kept “correcting” it to Egeeszegi.


with you aswimfan he was always coming back despite what anyone thought or believed

Craig Lord

more to the point, felixdp, what he said – the rest is coin-tossing

Viva la Bang

Micheal has a lot more to give, but think his main chance will be relays!



It will be interesting if Phelps prove me wrong and swim any other individual event in addition to 100 fly and 200 IM. That would actually be exciting.

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