College Team Uses Michael Phelps to Distract a Foe

Olympian donned a Speedo as part of the 'Curtain of Distraction'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2016 12:38 PM CST
College Team Uses Michael Phelps to Distract a Foe
Michael Phelps helps Arizona State's student section distract an opposing free-throw shooter during the men's basketball team's game against Oregon State on Thursday. It worked.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

Poor Stephen Thompson. Of all the things the Oregon State freshman basketball player didn't expect to see while attempting two free-throws Thursday night, an 18-time gold-medal Olympian with the wingspan of a Boeing 747 wearing nothing but a Speedo had to top the list. Today reports that Michael Phelps was a surprise guest at Arizona State's men's basketball game against OSU, participating in the traditional "Curtain of Distraction." When opposing teams are shooting foul shots, the ASU student section sets up a curtain, then pulls it back to reveal sometime completely bizarre and utterly distracting. This time it was Phelps. (You can watch it here.)

When the curtain was pulled back during Thompson's first foul shot, Phelps—who has been training for the 2016 Olympics nearby—ripped off his shirt to reveal a handful of gold medals. For the second shot, Phelps got all the way down to a Speedo, swim cap, and bow tie. Thompson missed both shots, and ASU eventually ended up winning 86-68. "You could see the look on [Thompson's] face," ASU's associate athletic director tells Yahoo. "He couldn't help but look. He was trying to hold himself together, but you could tell by the look in his eyes he was going to miss the first one. Missing the second one was just icing on the cake." (More Michael Phelps stories.)

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