Michael Phelps: I’ve looked at my 22 medals together once or twice

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The last two days in Los Angeles marked one of the greatest gatherings of Olympic legends outside of the Olympic Games.

The list included Michael Phelps, Carl LewisNadia Comaneci, Bart ConnerGreg LouganisApolo OhnoYuna KimMichelle Kwan, Scott HamiltonMeryl Davis, Hannah TeterAbby WambachJohn Carlos and Ato Boldon.

They came for the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony and the Doha Goals Forum. Here are excerpts from Phelps’ interview with Boldon, an NBC Olympics track and field analyst, and questions Phelps took from an audience at the Doha Goals Forum on Sunday:

On where he keeps his medals: I think there’s only one person, maybe a handful of people in this world who know where my medals are. … I probably have only looked at them about once or twice all together because there are so many other things that I want to do, whether it’s in the pool or out of the pool. My goals are nonstop.

On being at the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony: I stood right at the bottom of the tunnel and watched all the athletes come out. You could feel the energy that was coming out. … I guess I kind of thought back to what it would have been like if I was able to experience that [Phelps has never attended an Olympic Opening Ceremony, as athletes who compete in the first weekend of the Games often skip it]. … It just sent chills up my body.

On his comeback: It was like 9:30, 10 o’clock at night one day, and I called him [coach Bob Bowman]. I was like, “What do you think about me coming back?” He was like, “Call me in the morning.” So I called him the next morning, and he knew that I was for real. I got back to Baltimore, and we had a meeting, and he’s like, we’re going to do this the right way. That’s the way we’ve been doing it. I’m in a much better place now than I probably have ever been in my career.

On feeling less pressure: Going into 2012, I felt like I had to finish there. I had to make it to 2012. Now, I’m just having fun.

On being a Special Olympics global ambassador: As a kid, I was picked on. I was made fun of. … I used to remember kids flicking [my ears] in school. I can still remember to this day, I remember the teacher and her name in middle school who told me that I would never succeed in anything that I would ever put my mind to.

On Olympic memories: The first [gold medal] was one of the coolest [the 400m individual medley at the Athens 2004 Olympics in world-record time]. Sort of never, ever forgetting exactly where my mom and I shared that first gold medal through a chain-link fence in Athens, Greece, because I was unable to get to my mom. So I passed it through this little chain-link fence [while holding a peanut butter sandwich and telling his mom, “Look what I did,” as has been reported often since 2004]. I think 2008, probably 200m free. I look at that race, and today, still, and say that’s probably my best race I’ve ever swam in my life from start to finish. It was kind of over at 15 meters. I was in the best shape possible. My stroke was perfect. Everything about that race, to me, was the best. [Phelps broke his world record in that event by nine tenths of a second]

On his first Olympics in Sydney in 2000: I was so discouraged that I didn’t medal. I was fifth in my first Olympics at 15 [in his only race, the 200m butterfly]. I didn’t tie my suit. It was my first time out of the country. I was literally not prepared at all. But I wanted so much more, and I could never, ever settle unless I was the absolute best.

Flashback: Michael Phelps at the Sydney 2000 Olympics

On his inspirations: I looked up to Michael Jordan really as a kid because of what he did and how he changed the sport of basketball. That’s what I wanted to do in the sport of swimming. We’ve come a long way since 2000 and my first Olympic Games.

Michael Phelps, Hailey Cannaday star in ESPN ‘My Wish’ segment

NBA participation in Tokyo Olympics could be limited, Adam Silver says

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the Tokyo Olympics’ effect on the league’s schedule planning for 2021 is unclear, but that it’s possible that Olympic participation may be limited.

“There are a lot of great U.S. players, and we may be up against a scenario where the top 15 NBA players aren’t competing in the Olympics, but other great American players are competing,” Silver told Bob Costas on CNN on Tuesday. “Obviously, there are many NBA players who participate in the Olympics from other countries. That’s something we’re going to have to work through. I just say, lastly, these are highly unique and unusual circumstances. I think, just as it is for the Olympic movement, it is for us as well. We’re just going to have to sort of find a way to meld and mesh those two competing considerations.”

Silver said his best guess is that the next NBA season starts in January with a goal of a standard 82-game schedule and playoffs. A schedule has not been released.

In normal NBA seasons that start in late October, the regular season runs to mid-April and the NBA Finals into mid-June.

The Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony is July 23. If an NBA season is pushed back two or three months to a January start, and the schedule is not condensed, the Olympics would start while the NBA playoffs are happening.

The current NBA season is in the conference finals phase in an Orlando-area bubble after a four-month stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is a factor in our planning,” Silver said of the Olympics. “It would be tough for us to make a decision in January based on the Olympics happening on schedule when that’s so unclear.”

The NBA has participated in every Olympics since the 1992 Barcelona Games. Monday was the 29th anniversary of the announcement of the first 10 members of the original Dream Team on an NBC selection show (hosted by Costas).

Before the NBA era, U.S. Olympic men’s basketball teams consisted of college players.

MORE: When Michael Jordan lost in wheelchair basketball to Paralympian

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2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

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Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

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MORE: How Jay-Z, Beyonce helped Naomi Osaka come out of her shell

French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final