Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky Unite for 'Sports Illustrated' Cover
By Elisa Osegueda
Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky had one epic reunion!
America's top Olympians took time out of their busy schedules to pose for the cover of Sports Illustrated, which hits newsstands on Aug. 17. All three athletes gathered on Sunday night in Rio, with medals in hand, to be shot by famed photographer Simon Bruty.
At the time of the shoot, Phelps' medal count reached five gold and one silver, Ledecky sported four gold and one silver and Biles donned three gold, leading to a combined total of twelve gold medals and two silver medals spotlighted on the cover.
Biles posed in her bright red sparkly USA gymnastics uniform, after arriving fresh from winning gold in vault on Sunday. The Olympic champ will have one more opportunity to go for the gold on Tuesday, competing in the women’s floor exercise against reigning champ Aly Raisman.
As for Phelps, this is the 11th time the star swimmer has been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and the second cover for both Ledecky and Biles. Other Olympians who have been recently featured on the magazine, include Usain Bolt, Kevin Durant, Mikaela Shiffrin, Ryan Lochte, Apolo Ohno, and Lindsey Vonn.
"This is what I came back for," Phelps told Bob Costas on Sunday night. "At the age of 31, I’m happy to start moving forward into a new chapter of my life. I am retiring, this is it. That was the last race ever."
He went on to explain that he leaves with no regrets. "I didn’t want to have a what if, 15-20 years down the line," Phelps reflected. "I know now that I won’t have that. Because I was able to come back and do what I did here. That is, hands down, the best way to finish a career."
"I got to do it with my son here," he added of 3-month-old Boomer, who sat in the stands while his father won six Olympic medals, five of them gold. "We'll be able to share these memories with him when he grows up."