On Thursday night, U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps added yet another gold medal to his growing collection, proving he is virtually unstoppable in the pool. The five-time Olympic swimmer made history on Thursday, winning his 22nd Olympic gold medal. But one news announcer might have had you believing otherwise, because as the race was underway and Phelps was headed for the gold, a Canadian news announcer confused Phelps and Ryan Lochte.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) announcer, Elliotte Friedman, had viewers believing that Phelps might not even place in the event, which, if you know the swimmer the way we all do at this point, is simply unheard of. During the race, Friedman shouted, "Finally, he’s going to do it! Ryan Lochte is going to beat Michael Phelps in this event in the Games," New York Magazine reported. Friedman added, "And Phelps might not even make the podium!" Well, Phelps did make the podium, coming in first place and was almost a full body length ahead of the second-place winner. It was Lochte who didn't make it on the podium. I am deeply sorry to all the Lochte fans out there who thought he might have a chance at the gold.
But you know, we all make mistakes. (Except for Phelps because honestly, he is just always winning.) Friedman caught on to his mistake in the end, posting quite a sincere apology to his Twitter account, where he wrote, "I'm sorry everyone. I blew it. No excuses." Fortunately for the CBC announcer, Twitter was forgiving of his mistake; one French reporter noted, "It happens. Don't be too hard on yourself. You're doing a fantastic job." Another sports columnist shared, "I didn't see it, but I know few people more professional, or better, than @FriedgeHNIC. He'll take this harder than anybody." It was a big step for the social media platform, where some users often engage in online harassment and abusive behavior.
The Alabama Media Group reported, "The only thing that stopped Michael Phelps from winning his fourth gold medal of the Rio Olympics and 22nd overall ... was a broadcaster calling the race." So true, and maybe a mix-up like Friedman's really is the only thing that can stop Phelps from building his shrine of Olympic gold medals. He will go down in history as the Olympian who can only be stopped by a sports announcer.