Michael Phelps was giddy as he made his way through the Ravens locker room Sunday.
The Baltimore native shared hugs, high fives and words of praise for the Ravens after they had just captured their first AFC championship in more than a decade.
“It’s a very emotional thing for me to watch these guys really come together and play amazing,” Phelps said.
The most decorated Olympian of all-time was somewhat in awe of what the Ravens had just accomplished in pulling off a 28-13 upset over the New England Patriots.
He was part fan and part friend, as he sought out players like
One player even yelled out “Party at Phelps’ house!” after the Ravens has been presented the Lamar Hunt Trophy.
“I think it’s just cool for the city of Baltimore,” Phelps said. “I know how the fans are with their sports with every team, and just being able to come here. After seeing the support out there on the field, it’s unbelievable. Everybody just went crazy. It’s amazing.”
Phelps is a long-time Ravens fan who is a common presence on the Ravens sideline during home games.
The 18-time Olympic goal medalist is good friends with Lewis, and credits the Ravens linebacker with helping him rekindle his competitive fire to make one final Olympic run in 2012 before capping off his swimming career. Lewis helped see Phelps through to the end of his career, and now Phelps is focused on doing the same with Lewis.
“For me, just having Ray being such an inspiration to me and having him help me get through the end of my career, for this to be his last AFC championship game, I had to be here,” Phelps said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be his last game. Our last game is the Super Bowl.”
And as Lewis and the Ravens have one final stop in New Orleans, they can count on one of their biggest fans being right there along the way.
“I’m not missing that,” Phelps said. “That’s not even a question."