The most decorated Olympic athlete of all time has some words of wisdom for the hopefuls who will descend on Tokyo for the Olympic Games in 2021.
The games were supposed to be held this past summer but were postponed due to the coronavirus.
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Michael Phelps, the swimming legend who has won 28 Olympic medals — including an astounding 23 golds — told the 3rd hour of TODAY Wednesday that while he thinks it will be “challenging” to move athletes from all over the world into one location, he has his fingers crossed that all of the athletes keep their sights set on training.
“I hope it happens and honestly I hope the athletes are continuing their preparation. I think this is just something that is almost like a little wrench in the road," he said.
"We’ve obviously gone through ups and downs and everything that we’ve done, but this is something that none of us really experienced, so staying positive through something like this is so important and paying attention to what you can control I think is also very important.”
Phelps, 35, said if he was competing he would make a point to stay locked in to the minor details that could make all the difference.
“I know if I was preparing myself for these games, that would be the one thing that I would be focusing on, just making sure I’m doing every little small thing that I can to help that big picture and to help me, I guess, really, go out and accomplish those goals,” he said.
Gymnast Simone Biles is one of those athletes who may be heeding Phelps' advice.
"Training has been a little bit different," she told TODAY in July. "It's been kind of crazy, but going in every day knowing and hoping that 2021 is on the horizon keeps me going. It's just, we don't know what's going to happen, so we train as if."
The Olympics may take place a little later than expected, but the competitions themselves continue to evolve. Surfing, climbing and skateboarding will be sanctioned sports in 2021 and breakdancing will be an official event in the 2024 Summer Games in Paris. Does Phelps envision himself giving any of those a try?
“I’m a fish out of water, so I’m going to stick with what I’m good at,” he joked.