RIO DE JANEIRO – By now you’ve likely seen the photo.
American swimmer Michael Phelps is a stroke from the wall in the 200-meter butterfly and his nemesis, South Africa’s Chad le Clos is behind, mid-stroke, looking directly at Phelps, the man who is about to beat him for the gold medal.
It’s a terrific photo, one of the more powerful imagines from the first week of the Olympics.
That happened on Tuesday.
The following day, during a practice round on the Olympic Golf Course, Justin Rose’s caddie, Mark Fulcher, showed his man the photo. Four days later, Rose was standing on the top of the podium with a gold medal draped around his neck.
“Part of our mentality was just to keep our eyes forward and play as hard as we could and take care of our business,” Rose said. “I knew that would be a strategy that wouldn’t necessarily give me an advantage today, but it was something that was going to be very, very useful. It was a nice, powerful image on which to work off.”
Rose stayed in his lane for most of the week, especially on Sunday. He shot all four rounds in the 60s, including a final-round 67 to collect his 16th worldwide win.
“I felt very inspired this week, for sure,” he said. “It’s definitely been something I’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time and I guess I felt very motivated all week.”