Michael Phelps might still be snagging gold medals, but a lot has changed since 2008.
Michael Phelps’ only silver medal of the Rio Olympics came at the hands of 21-year-old Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling. Schooling beat Phelps in the 100-meter butterfly, claiming his and Singapore’s first gold medal in Olympic history.
During the victory lap after the race, Schooling turned to Phelps and said, “Dude this is crazy, out of this world, I don’t know how to feel right now,” according to The Guardian.
Phelps smiled and simply replied, “I know.”
For Schooling, beating Phelps also meant beating his swimming idol. Phelps and Schooling met for the first time in 2008. Here is a picture that has been circulating on social media that puts that meeting into perspective:
Joseph Schooling met Michael Phelps in Singapore in 2008. He just beat him in the 100 meter butterfly pic.twitter.com/DsINHyJBXO
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 13, 2016Loading...
“They came to the country club that I trained at,” Schooling told The Guardian. “Everyone just rushed up and was like ‘it’s Michael Phelps! It’s Michael Phelps!’ and I really wanted a picture … It was very early in the morning and I was so shell shocked, I couldn’t really open my mouth.”
Now it’s Phelps’ turn to be shell-shocked, as Schooling put him in a position he’s not used to: second place.
And the gold medal isn’t the only thing Schooling will take away from these Olympics. He alsojust became a millionaire. Singapore tops the rest of the world in prize money for winning a gold medal. According to Fox Sports Australia, athletes who win Olympic gold medals get paid 1 million Singapore dollars for their achievements (roughly $743,000 US dollars).
Additional reporting by Scott Davis.