Aside from all of his wins throughout the Rio Olympics this year, U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps also made headlines earlier this month for his now-iconic "Phelps face."
Phelps' death stare, aimed at longtime rival South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, went viral when he was just about to compete in the men's 200-meter butterfly finals. And during MTV's Video Music Awards Sunday night, the gold medalist shared the song he was listening to when he made the intense face.
"Remember in Rio, when I made that face that ended up all over the internet?" Phelps asked. "I was in the zone with Future’s track, 'Stick Talk,' blaring in my headphones."
Phelps came out of retirement to avenge himself after losing to Le Clos in the 2012 London Games. The "Phelps face" not only went viral but also became the subject of several memes on Twitter, including comparisons between the athlete and Anakin Skywalker of "Star Wars" when the character transformed into Darth Vader.
Phelps or Anakin Skywalker? pic.twitter.com/p7iDdlq76h— Alec White (@awhite018) August 9, 2016
Phelps went on to tell the crowd at the VMAs that hip hop — and Future in particular — has been a source of motivation for him throughout his athletic career.
"I might have a lot of gold, but this guy’s got all the platinum," he said.
At the end of this year's swimming competitions, Phelps reiterated that he is retiring. "Done, done, done," he told NBC's Matt Lauer. "This time I mean it."
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