Three-Time Olympian from Haverford Tells Yahoo! That Michael Phelps ‘Inspired Us to Stop Thinking Average’


From left, Haverford native Brendan Hansen, Michael Phelps, Aaron Peirsol, and Jason Lezak flaunt their golds after winning the 4x100-meter medley relay in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Photo courtesy of Mark Terrill, the Associated Press.

Brendan Hansen, the three-time Olympian and breaststroke specialist from Haverford, recently discussed with Yahoo! Sports the transformation of his former swimming teammate Michael Phelps into more of a leader.

Phelps may have been the best swimmer on Team USA in the Olympics in 2004, 2008, and 2012; however, that didn’t mean he was the best leader, writes Pat Forde of Yahoo!

He was fine with letting that responsibility go to others.

But Phelps was more comfortable closing himself off in his own cocoon of greatness and focusing on himself.

“I think in 2008 and 2012 Michael didn’t think he was a leader, let alone a captain,” said the 35-year-old Hansen, a six-time Olympic medalist. I remember talking with him about speaking up in team meetings because his experiences and mindset were so valuable to the team. He did a much better job in 2012 – but from what I’ve heard about 2016, he takes captain very seriously.

“He very much wanted to be part of the team and not lead it in ’08 and ’12. The team support was what he was looking for. But boy did he lead by example in his races those Games. He inspired us all to stop thinking average and take on the world.”

Click here to read more about Hansen’s discussion of Michael Phelps with Yahoo! Sports.

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