Michael Phelps’s post-win finger wag is everything

Michael Phelps broke the Internet earlier this week with his meme-worthy death stare.

Now, we finally know why he was so serious. He was getting ready for one of the most exciting victories of the Rio Olympics, and wasn’t about to be distracted by the antics of archnemisis Chad le Clos.

After he won in last night’s 200-meter butterfly, he signaled to the cameras to come closer so that they could catch him wagging his finger, signaling that he had come in first place.

Last night’s win is even more awesome when we remember it’s the same race where Phelps got his start in his very first Olympics 16 whole years ago.  After losing the event four years ago to South Africa’s Chad le Clos, there was no way he was giving anything but his best this year.

After the event, he said,

“I was fired up. I really wanted it back. I don’t care about the time, I was just happy to win. I have watched 2012 back and it hurt. What happened four years stuck with me. It was frustrating.”


He continued, “I was just thinking, going back over the last 16 years. That event was my bread and butter and that is the last time I will swim at a Games. There wasn’t a shot in hell I was losing that race tonight. And if I did I was leaving everything in the pool. I’m just thankful. I wanted that one back.”

It’s official. Michael Phelps is officially #WINNINGLIFE, and we couldn’t be happier.

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