The Olympics have a great collection of the best athletes from all around the world coming together to compete for their respective nations. While we have many talented first-time Olympians like NBA star Kyrie Irving and gymnast Simone Biles for the United States, we also have some great returning veteran gold-medal winners like Michael Phelps and Aly Raisman representing America as well.
Irving, for one, has had a troublesome start to his career, mostly because of the injuries he’s suffered, but has persevered and won an NBA Championship after hitting the biggest shot of his career and in Cleveland sports history.
So it’s no surprise that when Irving made Team USA’s final roster, he would already make plans as to who he would try to meet among the Olympians surrounding him.
Per Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports, Irving has really wanted to meet Michael Phelps, especially after watching his story.
Irving has been a fan of the 18-time gold-medal winning swimmer for some time, but his admiration grew recently when he watched a story chronicling Phelps’ life and on ESPN.
“Michael Phelps is definitely on my list. I had no idea (what he had been through in recent years),” Irving said of the piece that discussed Phelps’ DUI, his time in rehab and his recent reunion with his father after their relationship was strained. “And to know what he was battling up against, and to (see) that the platform he’s still on as arguably the best swimmer ever, I’m excited to meet him. I’m excited to ask him questions, and really just pick his brain about that greatness which he’s been striving for for years. Obviously you can see I’m very excited to meet Michael Phelps.”
Apparently, Irving got his wish and met Phelps during the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Rosalyn Gold-Onwude reported on the story for NBCSN during Team USA’s game earlier this week.
— Cavs Nation TV (@CavsNationTV) August 10, 2016