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Phelpte revisited: Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte renew rivalry

 An oldie but goodie: Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps on the podium in 2008 Olympics in Beijing with Lázló Cseh. Photograph by Eric Draper. Courtesy The White House.

An oldie but goodie: Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps on the podium in 2008 Olympics in Beijing with Lázló Cseh. Photograph by Eric Draper. Courtesy The White House.

“It’s a great race, it’s a great race, it’s a great race” I kept screaming at the TV as Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte went 1-2 in the 200 IM finals in the Olympic Trials in Omaha.

“Win or lose, we have a good friendship and that’s why it’s a great rivalry,” Lochte said afterward.

Frankly, I thought Lochte, swimming with a groin injury, had Phelps in the final leg, the free, but hand it to Phelps – he has the longer reach and the champion’s ability to close. That takes nothing away from Lochte, who has never been intimidated, never backed down. That’s what makes it a great rivalry.

“I can’t wait till Rio,” ever-enthusiastic commentator Rowdy Gaines said.

I must say, I can’t either.

Meanwhile, how adorable is Boomer Phelps’ Michael’s baby, wearing his headphones so his little ears aren’t damaged by the fan noise – poor thing. Mom Nicole Johnson, though, was so excited that the little guy was clearly thrown off his game, being jostled as he was in her lap as she rooted. Ah, well, kids are hardy.

One quibble about the coverage, Bob Costas said Phelpte was a rivalry as great as Fedal – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. OK, for the umpteenth time, that was never a rivalry. Once Rafa had Fed, he really had him. The better rivalry – and one of the greatest in sports history, along with Phelpte – is Rafanole, Rafa and Novak (Nole) Djokovic. I hope we see that again someday.

In the meantime, I’m savoring old times with Phelpte.