Michael Phelps won his 20th gold medal (24th overall), after winning the 200 meter butterfly, on Tuesday night, but on Sunday evening he stood on the podium with his teammates, Nathan Adrian, Caeleb Dressel, and Ryan Held who had won the gold in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay.
When Held was overcome with emotion, Phelps comforted him by reaching over to him, later stating that, “It’s good to see the emotion of those young guys. It shows they really do care and they love what they’re doing.”
However, when the much anticipated rematch with Chad Le Clos, a South African swimmer, resulted in a gold for Phelps, he too was visibly moved by the opening notes of the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
Phelps went back down to the pool deck, explaining, “one more,” in reference to his last race, the 4×200 freestyle relay. His mom replied with, “do it!” He and his teammates, Ryan Lochte, Townley Haas, and Conor Dwyer, did just that, capturing another gold for the US team.
Michael Phelps earning his 20th gold medal and crying at the national anthem is TOO MUCH FOR MY WITTLE HEART TO TAKE pic.twitter.com/S1sfaoa186
— Savannah Young (@savvy_young) August 10, 2016
My heart❤️ nothing more genuine than Michael Phelps crying during the National Anthem for his 20th gold medal🇺🇸🏅❤️ #Rio2016
— Chelsea Steinhauser (@chell1444) August 10, 2016