OLYMPICS

Phelps Starts His Own Foundation

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Michael Phelps will put his $1 million bonus to good use, announcing plans to start a foundation promoting water safety and youth swimming.

Joe Gromek, president and chief executive of Warnaco, Speedo's U.S. parent company, presented a check to Phelps on NBC's "Today" show yesterday.

The company, which has sponsored Phelps since he was 16, promised him a $1 million bonus if he tied or broke Mark Spitz's record for most gold medals at a single Olympics. The swimmer eclipsed the mark by winning eight golds at the Beijing Games -- seven of them with world record times.

Company spokeswoman Audra Silverman said Speedo International and the Warnaco Foundation will donate an additional $200,000 to the Michael Phelps Foundation.

"This is a way for me to really help to grow the sport," Phelps said during his appearance on "Today."

Speedo first offered the bonus before the 2004 Athens Olympics, but Phelps came up just short of the record with six gold and two bronze medals. He is now the winningest athlete in Olympics history with 14 golds overall, five more than anyone else, and will try to add to his total at the 2012 London Games.

-- From News Services


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