All great competitors try to get a leg up on their competition through mind-games and intimidation before the battle ever begins. Think of Ali taunting Frasier at public events, boxers who stand toe-to-toe staring daggers, or in this case a South African swimmer named Chad Le Clos who was shadow-boxing directly in front of 19-time world champion Michael Phelps (see video at the bottom of this gallery) before a race. However, Clos’ psych-out backfired horrifically when Phelps countered his competitor’s dance with a death glare that would scare the life out of any mere mortal.
Phelps came in second, ahead of Le Clos who went on to take third. But after the event, a reporter asked Phelps about what was on his mind while in the ready room, and he replied, “Nothing. I was trying to not even look at him. He does his thing, I do my thing.”
Thankfully, the internet reads subtext well, and they added their spin on the newest and best meme from the Rio Olympics called the #PhelpsFace.