In-trouble Michael Phelps coming to Vancouver – Inside the 2010 Olympics By Jeff Lee,
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Inside The Olympics is Vancouver Sun reporter Jeff Lee’s following of the Olympic movement and the preparations for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Today was not a banner day for U.S. swimming star Michael Phelps. In the wake of that problematic photo showing him dragging on a bong, he’s had take a significant hit on his credibility. Even if he’s never said whether the bong contained marijuana.
He’s had to do some swift damage control – and we saw a measure of that on Sunday after the story broke when he issued a mea culpa statement to Associated Press.
“I engaged in behaviour which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment,” Phelps said in a statement. “I’m 23 years old and despite the successes I’ve had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.”
But this week has not be kind to him.
USA Swmming has docked him financial support for three months. For a guy with 14 Olympic gold medals, it won’t hurt that much. But the decision by Kellogg to not renew an endorsement contract with him is a bit more of a bong – forgive the bad pun – in the side of his head.
Now, I wonder more about the long-term impact. Phelps is due to appear in Calgary on March 3 and Vancouver on March 6 as a speaker for The Power Within, a Toronto-based motivational company. I suppose this is one way of making sure tickets sell out.
I’ll guess that if he keeps with his engagement, he’ll incorporate a big lesson in about staying on the straight and narrow.
And away from cameras he can’t see.