Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte… Michael Andrew?
It’s Sunday night and you’re 14 years old. You’re probably finishing homework or getting ready for the next day of school. But not Michael Andrew. On Sunday, June 9, the 14-year-old swimmer signed an endorsement deal with P2Life nutritional supplements.
The move makes him the youngest American swimmer to turn pro in the history of the sport.
Comparisons to Michael Phelps are already being made. The 6’ 4”, 178-pound Andrew boasts 11 national age group records and he’s ranked 59th in the nation in the 50-meter free.
Michael began his first swim lessons at the age of seven, and after a month of training, he qualified for the state meet in the 100 free in his very first race.
Michael has been home-schooled since sixth grade. He trains in a pool in his family's backyard near Lawrence, KS, with his 11-year-old sister, Michaela, and their dad, Peter, as his coach. Using a new method of training developed by Dr. Brent Rushall, Michael trains two or three times a day for about 45 minutes each session, totaling to around 4000 yards (or the length of 40 football fields).
Michael isn’t the first teenager to go pro at a young age. As an example, Phelps turned pro as a 16-year-old. But when he did, he had already broken two world records and made it to the Olympics. Andrew’s long-term goal is to make the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, but he still has a long way to go. Although he has made some amazing strides, he hasn’t quite made a cut worthy of entry into the U.S. World Championship Trials in Indianapolis later this month.
What do you think about Michael Andrew’s decision to go pro as a 14-year-old? Should he have waited until he was older? Or do you think this was a good move? Let us know in the comments!
Photo: Brendan Maloney/USA TODAY Sports