Olympic Swimming Champ Michael Phelps Drinking in a Casino before DUI Arrest
The Daily News reports that Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps was drinking inside a Baltimore casino for 8 hours before his DUI traffic stop. Michael Phelps apparently is a regular at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, where he enjoys playing poker and drinking.
Michael Phelps holds the Olympic record for most gold medals, with 18. That’s twice the number of gold medals the 2nd-place holder has. Phelphs won 22 Olympic medals in all throughout his storied career. Experts say he was born with the perfect body frame for swimming competitively. Yet Phelps also has his troubled side.
8-Hour Poker Binge
Prior to his arrest, the superstar athlete had been gambling at the poker tables for eight hours. He arried at the VIP gambling room of the Baltimore Horseshoe at around 5pm on Monday. He was gambled until the early hours of Tuesday morning, sometime after 1am.
Throughout that time, Michael Phelps had been drinking. He’s a regular at the VIP room at the Horseshoe, where he plays amongst luxury with other high rollers. Though Olympic athletes do not make money for their competitions, Phelps’s storied career makes him a highly-paid commercial endorser. Therefore, he can afford to gamble amidst luxury for VIP stakes.
Arrested around 1:40 in the Morning
Around 1:40am on Tuesday morning, Phelps was pulled over for speeding and crossing over lanes. He was booked for driving under the influence, speeding, and double crossing lane lines.
Apologies on Twitter
After his release, Michael Phelps issued three tweets on his Twitter account, claiming responsibility and asking for forgiveness. Phelps tweeted, “These words may not mean much right now, but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.”
This is not the first time to Michael Phelps has faced trouble. In 2004, the swimmer was stopped for driving under the influence. In 2009, swimming officials found a photo of Phelps smoking marijuana from a bong at a party. After the 2009 incident, some advertisers pulled their corporate deals with Phelps. Most remained loyal, because of his phenomenal success in the swimming pool.
Record Medal Count
At the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, Phelps won 6 gold medals and 2 bronzes. At the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, he topped that stunning success with 8 gold medals. In the 2012 London Olympics, Phelps ended with 4 more golds and 2 silver medals.
Along the way, Michael Phelps has won dozens of medals. In all, he holds 77 major international medals, including 61 golds, 13 silvers, and 3 bronzes. In 2012, Phelps announced he would retire from swimming and focus all his time on his charity foundation. Earlier this year in 2014, Phelps announced he would come out of retirement to appear at a competition.
Phelps’s Endorsement Deals
It is unknown how the latest DUI arrest will affect Michael Phelps’ endorsement deals. The 29 year old swimmer has a host of companies he endorses, including Under Armour, Visa, Louis Vuitton, Omega, Procter & Gamble, Subway, Hewlett-Packard, and Hilton. His yearly endorsement income is roughly $10 million, while he is said to be worth about $50 million.
Such a phenom is likely to always find someone who will pay him to endorse their products. In a world filled with high-level, high-recognition athletes, though, the top companies might stay away from him. Most of the time, corporations prefer to maintain a spotless reputation for their customers. Look at the many companies who abandoned Tiger Woods when he had his marriage scandal and you’ll know that even the top athletes sometimes lose endorsements. No one since Michael Jordan had been as visible and iconic as Tiger Woods, so if he can drive corporations away, anyone can.
Despite the many awards and the fawning public attention, Michael Phelps has what they call in politics “high negatives”. That means there’s a significant section of the American sports viewing public which simply doesn’t like Michael Phelps. Such people tend to dislike athletes they hear a lot about in sports they don’t like. Swimming is not the most popular or well-known sport, so citizens might dislike top competitive swimmers, simply because they don’t want to hear about the sport anymore. Combine that with an Olympic-level athlete who continually has troubles with the law and the “law and order” type citizens are not likely to have a high opinion of Michael Phelps.