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Bacon: Michael Phelps' last Olympics and other heroes, villains in Rio

Athletes with Michigan connections have performed well at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
Flickr user Kirilos/Flickr
Athletes with Michigan connections have performed well at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

Our conversation with John U. Bacon

The Summer Olympics in Rio are heading down the home stretch, and if you're an American, there's a lot to cheer about. 

One of the main headlines in the Summer Games has been the return of Michael Phelps. The swimming icon who spent time early in his career at the University of Michigan, finished this year's competition with five gold medals and a silver. With six more, he extended his all-time record of career medals to 28. In fact, Phelps has more gold medals, 23, than the next closest person has total medals (18).

Phelps won his six medals in Rio at the ripe old age (by Olympian standards) of 31. Most believe this will be his last Olympics, but will it be?

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon says Phelps is a rare care of a legendary athlete going out on top.

"Do not take this for granted, you may not see this again the rest of your life, even if you're 12," said Bacon. "In a field that does not reward age, [what Michael Phelps has done] is really impressive and trust me, it is a very hard life. You have to spend six hours in a tank every day ... playing basketball is fun. Playing hockey is fun. Being in the tank six hours a day ain't fun for anybody. This is why I am very confident. He's right. It's his last Olympics."

Listen to the full interview above to hear more about how the athletes with Michigan connections have performed at the Olympics. And who the heroes, heroines, and villains have been. Also, Bacon pays tribute to former ESPN broadcaster John Saunders who recently passed away


John U. Bacon is Michigan Radio's sports commentator. 

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Josh Hakala, a lifelong Michigander (East Lansing & Edwardsburg), comes to Michigan Radio after nearly two decades of working in a variety of fields within broadcasting and digital media. Most recently, he worked for Advance Digital where he managed newspaper websites from across the country, including While his resume is filled with sports broadcasting experience (Big Ten Network, 97.1FM The Ticket, 610AM WIP etc.), radio reporting (90.1FM WRTI) and odd jobs (Editor for the FIFA video game series for EA Sports), he brings a passion for news and storytelling to the Stateside staff.