Fmr. Olympian's mother promotes teamwork, education

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by Rachel Platt

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 4:50 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The mother of one of the greatest Olympians of all time was in Louisville Tuesday and she had quite a story to tell about her life.

Deborah Phelps, the proud mom of Michael - you know, the swimmer with 18 gold medals -  was at the Marriott in Downtown Louisville where she talked to a crowd about being a single mom raising three children while working as a teacher and eventually a principal. She had a powerful message of teamwork and education.

Deborah Phelps will tell you Michael's older sisters are accomplished athletes and women in their own right. She said he may be an Olympian, but they are runners.

She didn’t come to talk about her son, instead, she addressed a luncheon for the Family Scholar House as a single mother that raised three children.

Deborah Phelps said they met their challenges and overcame them with a team attitude and education.  A value shared with the Family Scholar House – a program that supports single parents as they pursue valuable education.

Deborah said she earned her stripes as a mom and educator – a mother of three, teacher of thousands - passing her life lessons onto her biological children and children in the classroom.

One of those lessons: Admit you’ve made a mistake, learn from it and never make the same mistake twice.
                
She couldn’t help but talk a little about Michael.

Any word on an Olympic comeback? He's been working out again with his former coach, but no word on whether he'll return to swimming for the Rio Olympics in 2016. She said they’re two years out  and she really doesn’t know.

If she doesn't get to Rio for the Olympics, she said her son has promised her a vacation there.

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