Since solidifying his spot as the greatest living Olympian (greatest ever?) at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Michael Phelps has made the quick pivot to post-swimming life. He now runs a top swimwear brand called MP, with caps, goggles, swimsuits and other gear for everyone from beginning swimmers to the world’s elite. And as you might imagine, he has set lofty goals for the business.
“In my opinion the MP goggles and suits are the best, and I want to take over that market,” he said at the Global Financial Leadership Conference.
It’s not a surprise coming from Phelps, who has also added endorsement deals from Beats and Intel since concluding his swimming career after the Rio Olympics. He also runs a foundation focused on water safety, and manages an Instagram account for his infant son that has over 800,000 followers.
It’s a busy life. But the interview with Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews focused mostly on the thing that makes Phelps so compelling. How was he able to create such a large achievement gap between himself and the world’s other top swimmers, and do it for so long?
“I challenge myself more I think than probably a lot of other swimmers are willing to do. I was able to dig deep in times where people would shut down and back down,” he said.
That never came in to play more than in his training for the Rio Olympics. Following the 2012 games in London, Phelps took a year and a half off from the sport. That made training for Rio the most intense of his life, especially his first few weeks back.
“I knew it was going to be the most painful 4-6 weeks of my life,” he said of that time. That level of dedication is nothing new, according to Phelps.
“At 15 years old, I said to my agent that I want to change the sport of swimming. In 15 years, it’s come a long way, but there is still more. My goal of changing it will continue until the day that I die.”
Watch more of Phelps’ and Andrews’ discussion in the video above.