Michael Phelps Being Cheered On By USA Basketball Players Is The Best Depiction Of Team Spirit
On Tuesday, Michael Phelps earned his 20th gold medal when he beat South Africa's Chad Le Clos in the 200m butterfly race at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He lost this same race to Le Clos back in 2012, so he had all the more reason to celebrate in the pool upon his victory. And he wasn't the only one celebrating — members of the USA men's basketball team cheered on Phelps in the audience, and were completely ecstatic when he won. As it turns out, Team USA teammates are super supportive of each other — regardless of whether they compete in the same sport or not.
Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Deandre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins, and Klay Thompson were all watching as Phelps beat out Le Clos and Japan's Masato Sakai to win the gold, and their reaction to his victory has gone viral. Green Snapchatted the whole thing, and every photo showed him and his teammates cheering for Phelps. Cousins applauded Phelps on social media, too. He posted a video to Instagram showing the crowd cheering as Phelps emerged from the pool.
Phelps has been making a lot of headlines for his use of cupping to relieve muscle pain, but his latest victory seems to have taken precedence — especially after Le Clos' pre-semifinal dance routine, and Phelps' reaction to it, drew a lot of attention from fans of the sport. But pre-race antics aside, it's particularly precious to see other members of Team USA supporting their fellow athlete with so much enthusiasm.
Many Twitter users thoroughly enjoyed the basketball team members' reactions, and captured exactly how everyone felt about Phelps' victory.
Ahead of Tuesday night's race — where the basketball team had excellent poolside seats — Green talked to USA Today about his respect for other athletes, including Phelps:
It’s amazing [being around the other athletes], because everybody is the best at what they do. You know sometimes, people will look at us and maybe be a little star struck because they see you on TV every day. But we see them and it’s like, 'Man, that’s crazy,' because you know how good they are at what they do, and you have a respect for it, and an appreciation for it. It’s like, 'Man, that’s Michael Phelps,' or 'that’s [American sprinter] Allyson Felix,' or 'that’s Serena Williams.' You have a true appreciation and respect for them. It’s incredible. I’ve talked to Allyson. I’ve talked to [American sprinter] Tyson Gay, to Phelps. It’s amazing.
Phelps clearly has every reason to celebrate now that he has won such an important race — and one of them should be that his fellow athletes, as well as his fans, have his back.