Michael Phelps unfazed by ‘weapons of mass destruction’
LONDON—Olympic superstar Michael Phelps refused to be drawn into a war of words over Australian swimming’s so-called “weapons of mass destruction” on Thursday.
Phelps wouldn’t take the bait when asked to respond to the menacing moniker applied to Australia’s heavily favoured 4x100m freestyle relay team featuring James Magnussen, James Roberts, Eamon Sullivan and Matt Targett.
“We take care of our own business,” Phelps said. “If you get caught up in other people’s talking, and this and that, it just takes away from what we’re here to do. We’re here to swim and that’s it.
“We’re not going to run our mouths. We never have. Our country has never done that,” added Phelps — who had to do a quick turnaround when he remembered Gary Hall Jr.’s notorious vow in 2000 that the US relay team would smash the Australians “like guitars”.
Australia’s victory was followed by a gleeful on-deck display of air guitar.
“I forgot about Sydney,” Phelps said with a sheepish laugh. “The people in this team haven’t done that. We didn’t say smash them like guitars.”