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Michael Phelps: Beneath the Surface

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  329 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Eight medals, including six gold and two bronze. Michael Phelps used the Olympic Games in Athens as his breakout event. Already known in the swimming world for the summer of 2003 when he set seven world records in 41 days, Michael's record-tying medal haul made him a mainstream name. He's well on his way to his ambitious goal of changing the sport of swimming, but despite ...more
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Sports Publishing LLC
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Alex Cooley
Beneath the Surface by Michael Phelps is overall one of my favorite books I've ever read. The book is mostly about his Olympic career and how he trains to become the most decorated Olympian in history. The book starts from his first Olympic games in Athens up until right before the Beijing Olympic games. The reason why I enjoyed this book so much was because i could relate to everything he was talking about do to the fact that i am a swimmer as well. "I woke up the next morning at 7 a.m. and I h ...more
Dec 18, 2014 $nickv34$ rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
My 13 year old daughter had to write a book report from an autobiography and this was book that she chose. I picked it up because I have always loved watching both the summer and winter Olympics, especially the stories behind the athletes. The book was a little choppy and had frequent tangents interspersed for no apparent reason. I think he made a point to give "a shout out" to almost everyone he knows because the book was filled with many people he has encountered. I didn't find it too technica ...more
Saad Bhamla
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
After watching Michael Phelps smash world records and win a ton of gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, I became very impressed with him as both an athlete and a person. He is very grounded, focused, and determined. For some reason, he is more impressive to me than a lot of other athletes from the worlds of football, basketball, and golf. Those athletes' achivements mean absolutely nothing to me. Swimming on the other hand is about setting individual goals and working to overcome injuries, self- ...more
Who doesn't love Michael Phelps right now? I've been a big fan since the 2004 Athens Olympics, but I had no idea that he had an autobiography until Bob Costas mentioned it on air a few days ago in the midst of the medal frenzy. Despite being a fan, I thought it was a little ridiculous that the guy wrote an autobiography at 19. I think the timing would have been better after these games, but, ah, the glory of hindsight. If you're into swimming, it's great. If you're into Michael Phelps, it's grea ...more
Growing up the Olympics particular the Summer Games were always a big deal in my house, especially gymnastics, track & field and swimming events which my mom loved. I don't remember the '84 games but definitely by time '88 Seoul Games rolled around I jumped on the Olympic bandwagon with my mother. Ever since the 88 games you will find me in front of my tv during the Olympics and becoming a patriotic fool screaming for the American athletes obviously Michael Phelps is no exception. Normally, ...more
Emily Correia
This book is by far one of the best books that i have ever read in middle school. Michael's story is funny, suspenseful, and down-right sad at certain times. But, as you can see, everything that ever happened to him lead up to his amazing moment to shine in the Olympics. Michael definitely shows emotion as he tells his fascinating story. This is a book for all ages and all genders. It was just down right amazing
Ironic... this book is called Beneath the Surface, but it just seems to scratch the surface of his career. The book goes something like this: I swam x meters today to train for big race y. I had an argument with my coach. Drove to McDonalds to eat. They know my order and have it ready when I drive up. I raced, won again, and bought my mom a car with the sponsorship money. I swam x meters today...
Maybe he is just too young to have many deep insights. Perhaps he has spent so much time in the pool
Really great read! My mum bought this book 2 days ago, after watching Michael compete at London 2012, and I just picked it up because I was curious. I opened it up to any old page, just wanting to see what it was like, after a couple of pages I was hooked and had to go back to the beginning. I'm the type of person that doesn't normally like biographies, but I really enjoyed this one; I practically had to fight with my mum over who got to read it first.

I'm not going to give away any spoilers, (bu
Nov 20, 2008 Amerydbaker rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Michael Phelps fans
The first half of this book was a look into the personality of Michael Phelps and the events that brought him to fame. It was the best part. I was very inspired by his determination and charcter. Not only was he a great swimmer, but he was a down to earth good guy. He was gracious, kind and humble (with confidence). I loved the stories of how he learned from others while climbing the ladder of success. The last half of the book was full of statistics, races and endorsements. Although interesting ...more
Grace Durham

Put together beautifully and such an inspiring book. We see how truly amazing Phelps really is. I loved this book!!!
This book was a really great autobiogrphy of one of our nations greatest swimmer. This book is about Micheal Phelps story and how he made it to the olympics. It was a really interesting story and you can learn so much about competitive swimming and what its made of in this book. It tells you how precise everything has to be and how many people you meet doing this sport because you also make great friendships from swimming. Knowing about this sport will intreg my interests when the summer olympic ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It really gives us (the audience) an inside look into his career.
Mark McTighe
I wasn't expecting that...... An honest and interesting book, just one gripe. My copy had a flash of red on the front with the words including London 2012, well, don't believe it, it's a lie.
Debbie Rhines
I was impressed with Michael's determination, motivation and perserverence. He definitely showed how he made goals and worked really hard putting in the extra effort that was needed to get to where he has gone. Is a great lesson, especially for kids who expect things to come easy. If I wasn't a swimmer, I would have gotten really bored early on with the details about the meets, practice sets, etc. I felt that the book dragged and I was ready for it to be over. Glad I read it as a swimmer/athlete ...more
i read this in two nights. i was compelled to read it becuase of my obsessive nature, and MP is my current fixation. it was very easy to read most likely because the author was a teenager. there were even photos in the center of the book. :) i thought it was cute that he threw in all these tids and bits that really had no relevence to his story.. like how in one city he earned the nickname "mr clam chowder". or how he used to watch his friends sled, cause he coudln't participate for fear he woul ...more
Vicky Skinner (mynameisbibliophile)
Reading this book really did its job to gear me up to watch Michael swim again in London. It was so amazing to see through Michael's eyes the things I saw in Athens and Beijing. I'll never forget him giving up his spot to Ian Crocker in Athens or winning his last gold medal in Beijing by .001 of a second. Even though, like anyone, he has made mistakes in his career, Michael is truly inspiring. He is a wonderful person and an amazing athlete, and I can only hope his journey in London will be as b ...more
Addison Kilmer
Beneath the Surface by Michael Phelps is a pretty decent book. It mainly talks about his olympic career, and how he got the where he is today. I liked the book because I could kind of relate to what he was talking about. I play a sport and while it is not as intense as what he does, I still have some of the same experiences with practices, coaches, etc. I would recommend anyone read this book especially if you like sports. It's an easy read and very interesting/enjoyable. Over all a pretty good ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shaun Mcnamara
Sure made me miss swimming.
This is an okay autobiography. He gives us extraneous info way too much. The book doesn't need it. Mr. Phelps is the greatest swimmer and Olympian ever and quite possibly the greatest athlete ever, but his writing skills wouldn't make the podium. Ah ha ha, I'm so clever. Not to mention, the edition I read didn't include Beijing '08 or London '12. The cover claimed it did, but the inclusion was an extra two pages showing his race results. No extra sections of the book, though.
Lauren Wheeler
i really liked this book. When i first started it i didnt really know what to expect. But as i started reading it i began to really understand the committment and didication that it takes to really succeed at something that you are passionate about. i thought it was a really inspiring story of someone who was willing to give 110% to be the best at something he loved. It made me realize that good things and success dont just come in life, you have to work to be remembered!
I really liked this book because not only did Michael Phelps write about his swimming career, but he wrote a lot about his personal life--his childhood, his relationship with his coach, Bob Bowman, as well as his relationship with his family, including his father who you don't ever hear much about. Definitely a must-read for any Michael Phelps fan!
Sep 28, 2008 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karen by: Lisa
I don't like sports. I don't play any sports. But I am a superfan of sports autobiographies! Really wanted to read this book to get more of an idea of what his mom and coach are like, but I can't help being blown away by his accomplishments. Made me feel like a lazy loser. At least now I am a motivated lazy loser.
Amy Morris
I took this one from my daughter. I enjoyed reading about his life after watching the Olympics. It was interesting to see how he grew into the swimmer that he is today. I also enjoyed reading about his sisters (also swimmers) and his family life. The book was written after the Olympics in Sydney in 2004.
Phelps is pretty amazing. If you are wondering what he's all about, his book gives a very humble account. Even though he had help writing this book, his accounts of his races are pretty amazing-I felt I was there with each account. You also learn why he's an amazing swimmer & one of the best athletes around.
Jason Burchard
This book is a very inspirational read about the ups and downs of Phelps' journey to the Olympics.

I'd say that the only negative is a lot of talk about times and splits etc. that were indeed facts, but not important enough to have so many.
I enjoyed this because I respect Michael Phelps and all he has accomplished. But there wasn't much to it. A nice travelogue, nothing life changing. And I want to know about Bejing.
Natalie Z3
Read- good biography about michael phelps, is an inspiration when it comes to swimming. Most people who read this are really looking forward probably to the 2012 london games
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wanna read this!!!!! 2 10 Apr 13, 2009 11:28AM  
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