2012 Summer Olympics

Michael Phelps: Losing Nicole Johnson a Bad Sign for Phelps in Olympic Year

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 22:  Michael Phelps of the U.S. National Swim Team and Nicole Johnson poses for a photo on the red carpet prior to the 7th Annual Golden Goggle Awards at the Marriott Marquis on November 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2012

Michael Phelps has a lot on his plate right now. In addition to training for the London Olympics this summer, he has split up with his longtime girlfriend Nicole Johnson. 

According to the New York Post, Phelps and Johnson had been dating on and off for the last few years and split awhile ago.

Sources say the couple broke up a few weeks ago, and Phelps is telling friends he’s single. Baltimore-born Phelps spent New Year’s Eve partying with six guy friends and six girls at Chelsea hot spot Avenue. Meanwhile Johnson, according to her Twitter feed, spent the night in LA with friends.

This could be a bad omen of things to come for Phelps, who will enter the 2012 Olympics as the face of the United States and try to duplicate his historic performance from four years ago. 

Everything went right for Phelps in Beijing, but now he is starting the new year off on a down note. Some people would say this is just lame superstition, but you can't underestimate the power that dating a woman who won the Miss California contest had on his psyche. 

Sure, Johnson might not have been The One for Phelps. But she certainly had a stranglehold over him, which would explain why they kept getting back together after splitting up. 

Phelps is going to have all the pressure in the world on his shoulders this summer, and he needs all the positive energy that he can get during his training. 

We know that he will be in top shape when the Olympics roll around, but it is the preparation that matters more than anything else. If his focus is on anything else besides the task at hand, he is going to be in trouble. 

Considering that this break-up reportedly happened a few weeks ago, Phelps may already be back to his old, self-assured mindset. But until we see him in action, we won't know what he is dealing with. 

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