Michael Phelps on Past Struggles with Alcohol: 'I Didn't Want to See Another Day'
"I think my mom was happy that I was alive because I think she saw the path I was going down," Phelps says
Michael Phelps is speaking out again about his past struggles with alcohol.
In a sneak peek of a candid interview on the Today show, the 22-time Olympic medalist revealed his state of mind leading up to his two DUI arrests, and the impact they had on his mother, Debbie Phelps.
“I think my mom was happy that I was alive because I think she saw the path I was going down,” Phelps, 30, tells Matt Lauer in the clip. “I think a lot of people close to me saw it. And I was going fast. Fast. Honestly, at one point I felt like I didn’t want to see another day.”
Phelps’ first DUI arrest came in 2004. He pled guilty to drunk driving that November and was arrested again for DUI in September 2014. This episode was followed by six weeks in treatment and a six-month suspension from competition.
“I would just like to really thank the people who stood by me through everything, the ups and the downs,” he said to the crowd assembled at the Golden Goggle Awards. “Without you, I don’t know if I would be alive today.”
The father-to-be is currently training hard for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.
“If I’m going to come back, I need to do this the right way,” he said in August. “I’ve got to put my body in the best physical shape I can possibly get it in. Is it a challenge? No. I go to bed earlier. I sleep more. I wake up every day and have a completely clear head. I don’t feel like my head went through a brick wall. There are so many positives to it.”
Phelps’ Today show interview airs on Wednesday.