SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was one of many celebrities to play in Wednesday’s Pro-Am at the WM Phoenix Open in Scottsdale. But it’s the two volunteers that were assigned to carry the scoreboard for his group that are the stars of this story.
Phelps is the most successful Olympian of all time– with 28 total medals, 23 of which are gold.
Debbie Meyer Weber and Jane Swagerty both competed in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico. Swagerty took home the bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke. Weber brought home three gold medals in the 200-, 400-, and 800-meter freestyle races, and became the first woman to win three gold medals in the same Olympic games.
Both Weber and Swagerty volunteered to hold the scorecard during Wednesday’s round for Phelps’ group. Phelps is the most successful Olympian of all time, earning 28 total medals, 23 of them gold.
“I mean this is family. I’ve seen these faces for a long time. I’m a historian in the sport, so it’s always good to spend some time with fellow swimmers and gold medalists,” said Phelps.
“Because we know what it took to get where we got and anybody else as well,” said Weber.
They were 16 and 17 years old and said at the time there weren’t any scholarships for women to go to college. Most women quit after high school.
“It was a good 10 years before we could say we were in the Olympics because girls weren’t supposed to have muscles, you weren’t supposed to be better than guys. That whole era it was different,” said Swagerty.
The longtime friends have moved on to a new era of golf and hanging out with Phelps is a huge bonus.
“It’s fun watching him, hopefully, I’m picking up a few tips,” said Weber.
“A very good surprise in the morning and like I said, we have a great group. A very calm relaxed group and we’re having some fun,” said Phelps.
Weber and Swagerty said they still swim whenever they can to stay healthy and in shape.