Michael Phelps Wins 200-Meter Butterfly; Internet Crushes Rival for Trash-Talking Him
Sports| | By Jason Owen
If you have beef with Michael Phelps, you better be able to back it up.
At the 2012 London Olympic Games, South African swimmer Chad le Clos bested American Michael Phelps in the 200-meter butterfly race to capture gold. Since that time, le Clos has exchanged in a one-sided war of words with Phelps, relishing every opportunity to get in a dig at the most decorated Olympian in history. On Monday, words turned to taunting as le Clos “shadowboxed” in front of Phelps before their preliminary heat, spurring the #PhelpsFace into internet gold. But if le Clos was trying to psyche out Phelps, it would backfire spectacularly.
In Tuesday night’s 200-meter butterfly final, Phelps would get his revenge and captured his 20th gold medal in his decorated career. Le Clos finished in what had to be for him a disappointing fourth, missing the podium altogether.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 10, 2016
After all of le Clos’ taunting and trash-talk, swimming fans were not just going to let him swim quietly into that dark night.
Shortly after Phelps’ victory, le Clos’ Wikipedia page was “updated.”
Clever users changed le Clos’ nickname to “Michael Phelps (sic) Pool Boy,” and added this to his 2016 Olympic section:
“Le Clos’s (sic) swimming career came to an end during these olympics, as Michael Phelps stuffed him into a locker after taking his lunch money.”
Administrators at Wikipedia quickly changed the comments back, but users weren’t going to go quietly.
“He finished dead in the water at the 200 metre (sic) butterfly event,” reads the “obituary.”
Wikipedia eventually shut down comments on le Clos’ page, but the internet has no chill.
— amowad (@amowad) August 10, 2016
Michael Phelps: "How do you feel now Chad le Clos?"
Chad le Clos: 😭 pic.twitter.com/Tf9QVpz8Tu
— Crying Jordan (@CryingJordan) August 10, 2016
For Phelps, he didn’t have time to respond, as later in the night he raced again, this time in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, anchoring the team to another victory, and his own personal 21st Olympic gold.
In other Olympic swimming news, Katie Ledecky captured her second gold medal of the Rio games with a narrow win over Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom in the 200-meter freestyle. Ledecky’s first medal came in the 400-meter freestyle on Sunday night where she smashed her own world record time with a three minute, 56.46 seconds time.
As of Wednesday morning, the U.S. leads all countries with 26 total medals, nine of them being gold, but the real story is that, in the wise words of Omar, “You come at the king, you best not miss.”