A lot of folks say the Baltimore Ravens are a team of destiny this year. They say the Ravens were meant to play in the HarBowl, which will be Ray Lewis‘ last NFL game. The emotion he displays on the field every single day–practice and games–symbolizes the special bond that Baltimore sports fans, players and coaches all share. Michael Phelps falls into two of those categories. Although he doesn’t compete for a sports team with “Baltimore” in its name, the Baltimore County native knows exactly what Lewis is going through and credits his fellow hometown athlete for helping him through his own comeback.
Phelps admits it was extremely difficult to return to Olympic competition after absolutely dominating the 2008 Beijing Games. However, he turned in a solid performance at the 2012 London Olympics, following up his eight-gold-medal performance by becoming the most decorated Olympian ever. The magnitude of that accomplishment is not comprehendible by the human brain, but the emotion involved therein is something only a player like Lewis can understand.
Phelps credits Lewis for his ability to not only return to the Olympics in 2012, but to succeed in London like he did. Lewis talked Phelps through the mental strain of training that hard after having accomplished so much already. Ironically, Lewis went through a similar trial himself, rehabbing like a mad man to return for the 2013 NFL playoffs after suffering torn triceps before the midway point of the season.
These two athletes play on opposite ends of the sports spectrum, but their stories are similar and the city they represent fits them perfectly. Of course, Lewis’ still has one more page to write in his memoir, so he may need a little help from Phelps to clear this final hurdle. Baltimore fans wouldn’t have it any other way.