Michael Phelps: OMEGA’s quintessential ambassador
Since 2004, Michael Phelps has brought a human face to the values of OMEGA and his enormous international popularity and success continue to bring instant worldwide recognition to the brand. Michael was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and started swimming at the age of seven, in part due to the influence of his sisters who were also swimmers.
He excelled almost immediately and by the age of 10, he had already set a national record for his age group. More age group records followed and Michael’s rapid improvement led to his qualification for the United States Olympic team in 2000 at the tender age of 15.
A warm welcome to OMEGA
Michael Phelps and OMEGA – shared dedication to time and timing. About his relationship with the company, Michael says, “Time and timing are as important to OMEGA as they are to me. OMEGA has offered unwavering support for a long time. I really think that being part of a company like this is extremely special.” He adds, “OMEGA and I have been very good partners and it’s been amazing to have been an ambassador for so many years. It’s like having a family around when I’m traveling. I’m looking forward to sharing time with them this summer at the World Championships in Shanghai, and of course I'm looking ahead to London in 2012.”
Michael’s contributions to sport
Stephen Urquhart, the president of OMEGA, commented recently on his brand's most prominent swimming ambassador, saying, “How can we calculate Michael’s contribution to his sport? He’s the most successful athlete in any sport in Olympic history. He’s won more gold medals at the World Championships than any other swimmer. His achievements are mind-boggling.”
Stephen Urquhart is right: Michael won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, setting seven world records and one Olympic mark in the process. Four years earlier in Athens, he won six gold medals and two bronzes, so his Olympic total is a staggering 14 gold medals and two bronzes. To put his 2008 accomplishment in perspective: only three countries – China, the United States, and Germany – won more gold medals than Michael Phelps.
Michael has set 37 world records including 29 solo world records and eight as a member of a relay team. At the FINA XIV World Championships in Shanghai, he looks forward to adding to the 20 gold medals he won at previous World Championships (which is, in itself, a record).
Michael Phelps: better under pressure
The expectations placed on someone who has enjoyed Michael Phelps’s level of success are enormous. Will he be able to cope with it in the upcoming World Championships in Shanghai?
Michael Phelps’s coach, Bob Bowman has said about his star, “His greatest strength is his ability to relax and focus under pressure. As the pressure gets higher, he performs better – that’s very rare. He has an ability to be at his best at the critical moment.”
OMEGA joins the rest of the world in looking forward to the greatest swimmer ever adding to his legacy.