Michael Phelps Returns for One Last Swim in Under Armour's Haunting New Ad

Bearded champion preps for Rio
Michael Phelps has been an Under Armour endorser since 2010, but of course, he's only truly in the spotlight quadrennially, during the Olympics. Now 30 years old, the world's greatest-ever swimmer is making one final Olympic push—for the Rio Games this August.

Under Armour is celebrating its hero's last stand with a beautiful and brooding ad from Droga5 that focuses on Phelps's intense training regimen—in other words, everything he's been doing while outside the spotlight to prepare for those precious moments in the pool.

The most decorated Olympian of all time—with 22 medals in three Olympics, including 18 golds—Phelps certainly looks the part of the aging veteran in the new ad, even sporting a bushy beard (that has to slow him down a few milliseconds in the water, no?). But he's clearly not giving his post-30 body a break.

The ad, part of Under Armour's ongoing "Rule Yourself" campaign, shows Phelps swimming with resistance, lifting weights, carb-loading, taking ice baths, getting barked at by his coach, having restless sleep, and generally looking both determined and haunted by the task ahead of him.

(He even undergoes something called "cupping therapy," which looks painful and frankly kind of medieval.)


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