Michael Phelps wore the wrong swimming cap in a race — and still won gold

Phelps swimming cap
Phelps had to borrow teammate Conor Dwyer’s cap in a pinch. Getty Images/David Ramos

Just before Michael Phelps led the US men’s team to gold in the 4×200 freestyle relay on August 9, his swimming cap ripped. Luckily, teammate Conor Dwyer, 27, stepped up and offered his as a last-minute replacement, the New York Times reports

“I got a tap on the back and Mike seemed to be a little bit rattled,” Dwyer said in a press conference following the race. “He ripped his cap, split it in half, and wanted my cap.”

Phelps donned Dwyer’s cap inside out, jumped in the pool, and dominated the last leg of the relay. 

A photographer captured Phelps tossing the cap in the air as he celebrated after finishing the race. Look closely and you’ll see it has Dwyer’s name on it:

Phelps cap closeup

“I guess we have the same size head, so it fit, worked well, he swam well,” Dwyer said. “And I think I’m one of the only guys to have a cap swim two out of the four legs in the relay. So it’s nice to have Mike wear my cap for one of the […] medals that he’s won […] I’m proud of that.”

Watch Dwyer tell the whole story right  here:

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