Phelps Booted From Motivational Speaking Gig

After being suspended from swimming for a few months, Michael Phelps probably figured, no big deal, at least I’ve got the public speaking circuit to occupy my time. Well not anymore. A mere three weeks after SbB brought it up, The Power Within realized that perhaps someone in the news for smoking weed may not qualified to motivate people.

Michael Phelps motivational speaker?

I’m not sure I buy their logic, because I’ve seen stoned people go to great lengths to find an open Taco Bell at 4 am, and if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. So now Phelps has nothing to do until his first swim meet in May, and that’s asking for trouble. Because when you’re bored, what else is there to do other than hang around at a friend’s house and smoke pot?

Phelps was scheduled to make appearances in Calgary and Vancouver next week, along with Oprah’s personal trainer and personal health expert. All right, maybe marijuana’s not appropriate for someone talking about staying in shape. But this is Canada! Half the audience will be legally stoned!

The motivational company, The Power Within, has decided to instead go with a former U.S. president and a former U.S. attorney general.  Well, not exactly.  Martin Sheen will fill in, and hey, he did play JFK and RFK in movies, even before getting his West Wing Oval Office gig.

Perez says people who signed up for the talks were sent e-mails informing them “the decision has been made to present the program without Mr. Phelps’ participation.”

The speaking circuit can be a lucrative way for someone to extend their 15 minutes of fame to a lifelong career (when I was in Vegas, I hit on a cute blonde only to discover it was former POW Jessica Lynch, in town as a motivational speaker), so this is a blow to Phelps’ wallet. But I don’t think all this hoopla is bad for his career.

It’s been six months since Beijing, and Phelps is still one of the biggest athletes in the world. This doesn’t happen to Olympians. Did anyone care about Carly Patterson, or Justin Gatlin, or Cael Sanderson once the 2004 games wrapped up? No. But Michael Phelps has managed to stay in the news. Maybe it wasn’t the ideal publicity, but there is no bad publicity.