Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps
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Michael Phelps’ concussion, more highlights from Bob Bowman’s book

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Michael Phelps was “clocked by an oar and suffered a concussion” during a rowing exercise while training in a program run by the Navy SEALs in 2010, according to Bob Bowman‘s book, “The Golden Rules,” released Tuesday.

That’s just one of the interesting stories from Bowman’s coaching career dotting the pages of his 10 steps to world-class excellence in life and work.

VIDEO: Bowman discusses ‘The Golden Rules’ on TODAY
EXCERPT: Bowman, Phelps meet in 2013 to discuss comeback

Other gems include:

  • Bowman had Phelps on a workout regimen that put him on pace for nine gold medals at the Beijing Olympics: “Eventually, we realized that the actual Olympic swimming schedule made it virtually impossible for MP to go for nine, but our revamped Game Plan had still done the job. Michael not only matched Spitz’s record but bettered it by one.”
  • Phelps’ “letdown” after the Beijing 2008 Olympics: “‘Nothing’s good enough for you!’ [Phelps] barked at me more than once. ‘I had to win eight gold medals to get a “Good job” out of you. Lay off, would you?'”
  • At the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships, Bowman doubted his coaching ability when a backstroker he trained, Liz Pelton, struggled at the meet.
    “‘What is wrong with you, Bowman? How did you mess this girl up? You brought her to this meet and she’s clearly not ready. Maybe it’s true. Maybe you can only coach Michael. You’ll never be able to coach anyone else.’
    Ten minutes into my self-imposed isolation, Michael came out and found me. This time he kicked me in the butt.
    ‘Pull yourself together and get back to the meet,’ he told me.”
  • On Phelps’ tumultuous’ training leading up to the London Olympics: “On July 5, one month before the Games began, Michael showed up for a 7 a.m. practice; from that point on, he never missed another workout or was late for one during the run-up to the Games.”
  • Bowman and Phelps agreed one day before leaving Baltimore that he would swim the 400m individual medley at the London Olympics: “The last words out of my mouth being, ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen? You win a silver medal? You’d never do worse than that.”
    Phelps finished fourth and “launched into Bowman” afterward:
    “‘I know, I know! I didn’t train! I played golf. I didn’t come to the pool enough. I can’t swim. I know. What else can I do wrong?’
    I just said, ‘You know what, Michael? There’s a whole long list of things you’ve done wrong, but we’re going to start with breaststroke.’
    That immediately toned him down. All he said was, ‘Okay.'”
  • Phelps’ words to Bowman before his final London Olympic race: “‘Bob, I wanted to be like Michael Jordan in basketball and change the sport. Bob, I wanted people to know about swimming. We’ve done that, Bob. We’ve become the best ever, but we got here together. Bob, thanks. Thank you so much.’
    He caught me off guard, and I started to well up. ‘That’s not fair,’ I said seconds later.
    ‘I know,’ he said. ‘You can’t see my tears, but yours are streaming down your face.'”
  • On Chase Kalisz, the 22-year-old two-time World medalist in his training group: “He may have been nine years younger than Michael, but as soon as he started showing up for workouts as a preteen he would try to race his idol over 25 meters — and sometimes even beat him.”
  • Phelps pulled training partner Allison Schmitt aside in 2014 after Schmitt failed to qualify for the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships and 2015 World Championships: “Schmitty, this is what you do. Pull out a video of your races in London and watch them — and then use those races to visualize what you need to do to get back to where you were.”

MORE: Michael Phelps explains ‘Boomer’ name

FIFA rules on Olympic men’s soccer tournament age eligibility

Gabriel Jesus
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For the first time since 1988, some 24-year-olds will be eligible for the Olympic men’s soccer tournament without using an over-age exception.

FIFA announced Friday that it will use the same age eligibility criteria for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 that it intended to use in 2020 — that players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997 are eligible, plus three over-age exceptions. FIFA chose not to move the birthdate deadline back a year after the Olympics were postponed by one year.

Olympic men’s soccer tournaments have been U-23 events — save those exceptions — since the 1992 Barcelona Games. In 1984 and 1988, restrictions kept European and South American players with World Cup experience ineligible. Before that, professionals weren’t allowed at all.

Fourteen of the 16 men’s soccer teams already qualified for the Games using players from under-23 national teams. The last two spots are to be filled by CONCACAF nations, potentially the U.S. qualifying a men’s team for the first time since 2008.

The U.S.’ biggest star, Christian Pulisic, and French superstar Kylian Mbappe were both born in 1998 and thus would have been under the age limit even if FIFA moved the deadline to Jan. 1, 1998.

Perhaps the most high-profile player affected by FIFA’s decision is Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus. The Manchester City star was born April 3, 1997, and thus would have become an over-age exception if FIFA pushed the birthdate rule back a year.

Instead, Brazil could name him to the Olympic team and still keep all of its over-age exceptions.

However, players need permission from their professional club teams to play in the Olympics, often limiting the availability of stars.

MORE: Noah Lyles details training near woods, dog walkers

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Jenny Thompson’s new team is on the front line fighting coronavirus

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Two weeks ago, Jenny Thompson, the 12-time Olympic swimming medalist turned anesthesiologist, told close friends about the worrisome situation at her hospital in Charleston, S.C.

Thompson and her perioperative team of 40 or 50 were stressed that they would not have the most effective personal protective equipment (PPE) for when the coronavirus pandemic peaks there, projected to be later this month.

The messages caused fellow former Stanford swimmers and Olympic teammates Gabrielle Rose and Lea Maurer to act.

“She almost never asks for any sort of help or support,” Maurer said. “She’s Herculean in her ability to take on life and all its challenges.”

Rose and Maurer started a GoFundMe titled “Go Jenny Go” on March 22 for help to purchase PPE for the hospital. At the time, critical care doctors were “scrambling to piece together purchases on their own in anticipation of their high risk patients,” Maurer wrote.

Thompson said the PPE situation is better now. The GoFundMe was suspended Wednesday. Future support is directed to help those in New York City. Thompson specifically noted a GoFundMe for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

More than $9,000 was raised in less than two weeks. Also, the hospital started receiving more PPE on its own. Thompson’s team now feels prepared for what’s to come.

“People were responding and donating from all chapters of my life,” Thompson said by phone Thursday. “People I didn’t even know. Family from USA Swimming and international swimming. It’s really touched me to know that so many people care and are able to donate, help share the message.”

Thompson woke at 4 a.m. several days this week with thoughts of her peers in New York City. Healthcare workers there have cited a lack of PPE in putting their own lives at risk while they fight to save others. Some have contracted the virus.

“We’ve been fortunate [in South Carolina]. I feel lucky,” Thompson said. “We’ll definitely be in a place where we’re taking care of a lot of Covid patients, but we’re not there yet.

“I’ve heard people say, people in healthcare knew what they were signing up for. I never signed up to get sick and potentially die from this job. I always assumed that I would have the protection or the supplies needed to help me do my job, and that’s been a real struggle nationwide.”

Thompson went to medical school in New York at Columbia University starting in 2001.

“I’d been there maybe a couple weeks at Columbia, when 9/11 happened,” she said. “I remember feeling very helpless as a first-year medical student. I wanted to help so badly, but there really wasn’t much I could do. All my classmates felt the same way. I’ve always had that as part of the making of me as a doctor, having to go through crisis, but I never imagined a pandemic. I guess some people prepare for this sort of thing their whole life, but I didn’t.”

The term “front lines” has been applied to healthcare workers around the globe. Thompson said it’s apt at her hospital.

“We definitely have Covid here, but we have not had a major outbreak like some other cities,” she said. “We consider every patient who we give general anesthesia and intubate to be a potential risk. As anesthesia providers and people who intubate the airway, we are on the front line. We are at a much higher risk of getting sick without the right PPE.”

Thompson’s team feels more ready for the peak with every passing day. They’re simulating, donning and doffing and scheduling to work longer shifts starting next week. The preparation extends home, where she has a husband and three children.

“I have, like, four different pairs of shoes,” Thompson said. “I spray my socks with fabric disinfectant. I take them off in the car, and then I put on flip-flops. Then when I get home, I shower and put my clothes in the wash immediately. It’s a strange place to be, but just consider everything I touch to be contaminated in an effort to protect myself.”

Both Rose and Maurer still see in Thompson that swimmer who awed them in college. As Thompson trained to become the most decorated female U.S. Olympian in history, she studied at Stanford and then Columbia to become a doctor.

“I knew I wanted to take care of critically ill patients,” she said.

As a swimmer, Thompson was known as the ultimate teammate. Eight Olympic gold medals in relays, often an anchor. Always there. Dependable.

“She knows that she’s going to make a difference,” Maurer said. “She knows that she’s going to achieve that goal. She knows that she’s going to help to make people better. And so she does it.”

Thompson believes the next few weeks will be unlike anything she’s ever faced.

“Everybody was sort of freaking out in the beginning and feeling very stressed, and I think that at some level has not gone away,” she said. “That’s going to stay with us, but we have a we-can-do-this-together fighting mentality that we are leaning on each other for. It’s really no different than being a part of any kind of team.”