As Good as Michael Phelps
Little Ben is a young swimmer who got the opportunity to meet Michael Phelps and learn about his stories. Inspired by this renowned athlete, Ben wants to be as good a swimmer one day. How can a 6 year old boy become as good as Michael Phelps? Maybe it's time to turn to the ancient wisdom of Lao Tzu: ' A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'.

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Ben was a 6-year-old who was taking swimming classes. His dream was to one day be as good as Michael Phelps. Like many young swimmers, Ben was extremely excited to see how team USA will perform in this year's Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. On the day of the Olympic opening, something incredible happened. Ben and his friends from swimming classes got to meet Michael Phelps!

Michael Phelps was very nice to Ben and his friends. He signed Ben an autograph, and he also taught the kids some fun games to play in the water. Michael Phelps was a busy person, but he also wanted to have some fun with the kids.

Ben was so excited that he couldn't stop talking about the meeting with Michael Phelps for the rest of the day. At night, when Ben had trouble falling asleep, his mom said that she would read him a story about Michael Phelps if he tried to go to sleep now.

"But mom, I don't want to go to sleep. I want to hear the story about Michael Phelps!" Ben said.

"No, Ben, you need to go to sleep right now, or you will be really tired and cranky tomorrow."

"Ok, mom. I'll go to sleep right now." So, Ben closed his eyes waiting for the Michael Phelps story.

Ben's mother opened her book and started reading: "Michael Phelps was born in 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland. He started learning how to swim at the age of seven."

Ben couldn't fall asleep at all, because he was so excited about the story. He loved the idea that he started learning swimming earlier than Michael Phelps.

Ben's mother kept reading: " Michael started competing in swim meets all over the country winning a lot of competitions. At the age of 15, he became the youngest male to make a US Olympic team in 68 years."

"Wow! US national team at 15! That is incredible!", Ben thought. "Maybe there is a chance that one day I will be as good of a swimmer as him? Maybe I can be part of the US team too. That would be awesome!

Ben's mother turned another page and continued: "Michael Phelps' gold medal streak began at the 2002 Pan Pacific Championships in Japan. He won three golds and two silvers. In the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Michael Phelps won eight gold medals and set seven world records!"

Wait, what?! Did my mom just say that Michael Phelps set seven world records? What kind of crazy swimming trick did he do?! Was it like backstroke or butterfly or maybe freestyle?! I should ask my coach about it so maybe one day I will have more chances of setting a world record myself!

Ben couldn't remember exactly when he fell asleep, but he did dream about swimming for sure.

The next day at school, Ben's friends were all very excited to hear about his meeting with Michael Phelps. They couldn't believe that he got to meet one of the best swimmers in the world!

"Wow, Ben," said one of his friends. "You are so lucky!"

"I know!" Ben replied. "Michael Phelps was really nice to me and my friends, and he taught us some cool swimming tricks too! I can't wait for the Olympic games to start!"

"And that's not all," Ben continued. "My mom read me a story about Michael Phelps last night before I went to sleep."

"Oh yeah?" said another friend with a big smile on his face. "What did the story say about him?"

"The story said that he was born in 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland," Ben explained. "It also said that when he was ten years old he started competing in swim meets all over the country."

"Huh," said one of his friends as she stared at him with her mouth hanging open wide in disbelief. "I never knew that Michael Phelps was from Baltimore!"

"But wait," Ben continued. "There is more! My mom said that when Michael Phelps was seventeen years old, he competed in his first international competition – the 2002 Pan Pacific Championships – where he won five medals."

"That's pretty impressive," said another one of Ben's friends. "But I'm sure that there are many other swimmers who have won five medals in their lifetime too."

"Yeah, that's true," Ben agreed. "But Michael Phelps still holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals! A total of 23!

Ben's friends were all very impressed after hearing about this incredible feat, but then they started asking him more questions.

"What is the 100m butterfly race?"

"What does 'setting an Olympic record' mean?"

"And how far is '100m' ?"

"Who is the fastest swimmer from the USA right now? "

"Why don't we use our arms when we swim backstroke?"

Ben didn't know how to answer all these questions because he didn't know how to swim backstroke yet!

After the swimming practice ended this day, Ben stayed behind after everyone else had left because he wanted to talk with his coach about something important.

His coach looked at him with a big smile on her face and asked him if everything was alright.

"Yes, everything is ok," Ben answered her as best as he could while trying not to cry. "I just wanted you to tell me some swimming tricks that I can use in my races tomorrow," Ben quickly added, as tears started forming in his eyes.

He then told his coach how he wanted to be as good as Michael Phelps. He needed her help so bad as he felt so behind compared to Michael Phelps.

His coach smiled and gave him a big hug until he calmed down. She said to him gently, "No matter how big our goal is, we need to take it one stroke at a time. Okay?"

Ben nodded his head while his coach talked him through tomorrow's races. "One stroke at a time, one stroke at a time", he repeated to himself.
本今年6 岁,正在上游泳课。 他的梦想是有一天能像Michael Phelps 一样出色。 像许多年轻的游泳运动员一样,本很期待美国队今年在日本东京奥运会上的表现。 奥运开幕当天,一件不可思议的事情发生了。本和他游泳班的朋友们见到了Michael Phelps !

Michael Phelps 对本和他的朋友们非常好。 他给本签了名,还教孩子们在水中玩一些有趣的游戏。 Michael Phelps 平时很忙碌,但他也想和孩子们一起玩。

事后本异常兴奋,无法停止谈论与Michael Phelps 的会面。 晚上,他怎么也无法入睡。他的妈妈说,如果他现就去睡觉,她会给他读一篇关于Michael Phelps 的故事。

"但是妈妈,我不想睡觉", 本说。


"好的妈妈,我现在就去睡觉。请给我讲Michael Phelps 的故事吧!" 本闭上眼睛等着听Michael Phelps 的故事。

本的母亲打开她的书开始阅读:"Michael Phelps 于 1985 年出生于马里兰州巴尔的摩。他从七岁开始学习游泳。"

本根本无法入睡,因为这个故事太让他兴奋了。他很高兴他比Michael Phelps 更早开始学习游泳。

本的母亲继续读着:" Michael 开始参加全国各地的游泳比赛,并常常夺冠。15 岁时,他成为 68 年来最年轻的男性美国奥运代表队成员。"

"哇!15岁入选美国国家队!太不可思议了!",本想着, "也许有一天我也会游得向他一样好?也许我也可以成为美国队的一员?那多好啊!

本的母亲翻了一页继续念到:"Michael Phelps的金牌纪录始于 2002 年日本泛太平洋锦标赛。他获得了三金两银。在 2008 年北京夏季奥运会上,Michael Phelps获得了 8 枚金牌。 并创造了7项世界纪录!"

等等,什么?! 妈妈刚刚说Michael Phelps 创造了7项世界纪录吗? 他到底做了什么疯狂的游泳动作?! 是仰泳、蝶泳还是自由泳?! 我应该问问我的教练,也许那样我就会有更多机会创造世界纪录!

本不记得他是什么时候睡着的,但他有梦到和Michael Phelps一起游泳。

第二天在学校,本的朋友们听说他见到Michael Phelps的消息都非常兴奋。 他们无法相信他见到了世界上最棒的游泳运动员之一!

" 哇,本", 他的一位朋友说, "你太幸运了!"

"我知道!Michael Phelps 对我和我的朋友真的很好,他还教了我们一些很酷的游泳技巧呢!我等不及奥运会开始了!"

"还有", 本继续说道, "昨晚我睡觉前,我妈妈给我读了一篇关于Michael Phelps 的故事。"

另一个朋友满脸笑容的问道: "故事讲了什么?"

"故事说他 1985 年出生在马里兰州巴尔的摩,还说他十岁的时候就开始参加全国各地的游泳比赛了。"

他的另一个朋友张大嘴不敢相信地瞪着他: "我从来不知道Michael Phelps 来自巴尔的摩!"

"等等", 本继续说道, "还有更多!我妈妈说,Michael Phelps 17 岁时参加了他的第一场国际比赛——2002 年泛太平洋锦标赛——在那里他赢得了五枚奖牌。"

"真厉害!", 本的另一位朋友说, "但肯定还有很多其他游泳运动员也拿过五枚奖牌吧。"

"是的,这到是真的",本同意道, "不过Michael Phelps 仍然保持着获奥运金牌最多的历史记录!一共23枚!










"是的,一切都好",本尽忍住泪水,尽量不哭。 "我只是想让你告诉我一些游泳的技巧,我可以在明天的比赛中使用",本很快补充道,眼泪开始往外流。

然后他告诉他的教练他多么想和Michael Phelps 一样厉害。他非常需要她的帮助,因为与Michael Phelps相比,他觉得自己太落后了。


本点点头,教练开始为他讲解明天的比赛。 "千里之行始于足下,千里之行始于足下",他在心中默念道。

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