Michael Phelps arrives at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards in Los Angeles

Michael Phelps Reveals 'How Cutthroat' The Olympics Trials Are

Home / Sports / Michael Phelps Reveals 'How Cutthroat' The Olympics Trials Are

By Kelly Coffey-Behrens on June 27, 2024 at 3:15 PM EDT

Michael Phelps, a 23-time gold medalist, recently spoke out regarding a video of Australia’s Cate Campbell bragging about beating the U.S. team at the 2023 World Championships in Japan went viral.

Days later, it was revealed that Campbell did not make the 2024 Paris Olympics team, meaning she would miss her chance of competing against Team USA next month.

After learning that Cate Campbell did not qualify, Michael Phelps admitted how "cutthroat" the Olympic trials can be.

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Michael Phelps Opens Up About The Olympic Trials

Michael Phelps at 23rd Annual Harold And Carole Pump Foundation Gala

The 23-time gold medalist opened up about the Olympics process after hearing that Campbell didn't qualify, admitting “how cutthroat Olympic trials are."

"We have a young new team and they have a young new team," he told People Magazine. "We both have talented, excited kids that aren't going to back down from a challenge.”

“So when we see these icons and these historic swimmers swim long careers and don't make the team, to me, it shows the younger generation is really hungry, and they're not afraid to step up against the best in the world or the best in Australia and beat 'em,” Phelps added.

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What Did Cate Campbell Say About Team USA?

Cate Campbell selfie in a pool
Instagram | Cate Campbell

After last year's competition, Cate Campbell spoke with Australia’s Channel 9 to discuss the final results and rankings, calling the U.S. team “Such, such, sore losers."

“Australia coming out on top is one thing, but it is just so much sweeter beating America. There were a couple of nights, particularly the first night of competition, where we did not have to hear the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ ring out through the stadium and I cannot tell you how happy that made me," she said per SwimSwam.com.

"If I never hear that song again, it will be too soon," she added. "Bring on Paris, that’s all I have to say. U.S., stop being sore losers."

Unfortunately for Australia, Campbell will not be heading to Paris after she failed to make the team.

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Michael Phelps On Cate Campbell

Cate Campbell sitting on the edge of a pool
Instagram | Cate Campbell

Initially, Michael Phelps criticized Cate Campbell for her remarks about Team USA, but after learning she didn't qualify, he admitted to understanding her perspective.

“I think Cate said it herself, when we are in the water, I don’t like anybody,” he told the outlet. "I want to beat the living crap out of every single person that's in the water with me. Even if they're my own teammates, I want to win."

"But when we do get out of the water, we are friends, we're competitors, but we have a good friendship," Phelps said. “So we're both super passionate about [swimming]. We all want to win a gold medal for our country and the swimming does our talking.”

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What Did Michael Phelps Say About Cate Campbell?

Michael Phelps arriving at "Good Morning America'" taping at the ABC Times Square Studio

After Cate Campbell's video went viral, the 23-time gold medalist spoke out, slamming the Aussie swimmer.

“If somebody said that to me, I would lose it,” Phelps said in an Instagram video after watching the clip. “I would make them eat every word they just said about me. Cause people have done it. Chad le Clos, [Ian] Thorpe. You guys have all talked sh-t about me and I had the last laugh."

“So for the Americans, if you see what I just saw, I would watch that thing every day to give me that little extra bit of just oomph," he added.

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Will Cate Campbell Retire?

Cate Campbell takes a selfie
Instagram | Cate Campbell

Following the disappointing news of not qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics, Aussie swimmer Cate Campbell revealed her future in the sport.

"Swimming is one of the most grueling sports out there and I have been at it a very, very long time,” she said. "This is the end and it's a perfect way to exit the pool,” she told Channel 9, confirming the end of her competitive career. "I would have loved that fairytale ending more than anything else, but I can now sit back and reflect on a wonderful career, I can leave the sport with my head held really high."

"I came back to try something that no one's done before and I gave it a really good crack. My God, I gave it a really good crack," Campbell added.

The 2024 Paris Olympics will hold its opening ceremony on July 26, 2024.

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