Michael Phelps is competitive not just in swimming but in a few other areas. At a celebrity charity poker tournament hosted by Michael and his wife Nicole they had some fun about who would come out the winner. While Nicole made it further in the tournament it is unimaginable to call Michael Phelps a loser regarding anything. The Giving Back Fund’s Big Game Big Celebrity poker tournament raised over $1 million.
The most decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals, Michael Phelps first established his namesake Michael Phelps foundation through a $1 million bonus he received from long-time sponsor Speedo, after he won eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. As the newest national sensation, his foundation helped launch a nationwide tour for Phelps, in which he shared his Olympic experience and promoted his message of “Dream, Plan, Reach” with members of the Boys & Girls Clubs.
The Phelps Foundation also works with select Boys & Girls Clubs to implement its signature IM program — named for Phelps’ signature event: the Individual Medley — which promotes water-safety, wellness, and a goal-setting program. On his foundation’s website, Phelps tells the story of how he afraid of the water when he first entered a swimming pool, refusing to put his face in the water. It was after he himself received the guidance and encouragement as a swimmer that his passion grew to the point where he was able to achieve what he did. His program has instructed nearly 3,000 children how to swim, with more than 80% of the participants receiving swimming instruction (im safe) for the first time in their lives. It’s even gone internationally, with a location on a U.S. Naval installation in Naples, Italy.
In addition to his work through his own foundation, Phelps joined fellow Olympians Ross Powers, Lenny Krazelburg, Seth Wescott and Daron Rahlves, to launch “the Level Field Fund,” a grant-giving program that provides funding for uniquely talented athletes in need of financial support. The fund established a swimming-specific component that directly supports swimmers in need of financial assistance.