We all better thank Ray Lewis for some amazing performances by Michael Phelps at the 2012 Summer Olympics, because he is the reason the swimmer went to London.
Yahoo! Sports ran a report on Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens' propensity to talk a good game.
In that report, there is a mention of Maryland native and owner of gaudy Olympic gold, Michael Phelps, who claims he pretty much would have called it quits prior to 2012 if it weren't for future fellow retiree Ray Lewis:
He is a very powerful man. A very passionate man. I wouldn't have been able to [swim in the 2012 Olympics] without him. And he's been telling me, 'One more shot, one more shot, we're going to have it. And he did it
I think he's probably the most inspirational person I've ever met in my entire life. A lot of people don't know this, but he was one of the biggest reasons why I came back for four more years. Just some of the things that we have talked about, and he's helped me get through, I can't be more happier.
It goes without saying Lewis is one of the most inspirational speakers of any athlete, but we we'll go ahead and say it: The man just knows how to fire up a crowd with speeches that are legendary. If you want but a taste, consider this motivational push he gave to Stanford prior to the NIT Championship Game.
Hell, you only need to put Madden 13 on to get amped out of your skull thanks to a pregame speech in the video game.
So you can imagine that a one-on-one chat with him would pretty much make you hold off retirement long enough to feature in the Summer Olympics.
Phelps is done with swimming, but not before tallying off six medals (four gold) during the most recent Summer Games.
I would imagine that, on his way to 22 total medals, Phelps had some of Lewis' words rattling around in his head. That's the kind of motivation that pushes you to excellence.
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