At 23, Michael Phelps is poised to win the most gold medals ever by an individual at the Beijing Games, and earn some $5 million in endorsement deals for companies such as Visa and Speedo. Yet Phelps’ journey—from an 8-year-old throwing a temper tantrum after his first swimming loss to arguably the best swimmer of all time—has been a slow maturation, reports the Baltimore Sun.
Diagnosed with ADHD at 9, he first competed in the Olympics at 15. Yet at college in Ann Arbor, Phelps only begrudgingly learned to care for himself, once loading the dishwasher with hand soap, thereby floodling the kitchen with knee-deep bubbles. And highs (judging the Miss America pageant, trying to score Jenna Bush’s number in a nightclub) have been tempered by lows (breaking his wrist last year).