From left, Nathan Adrian, Ryan Held, Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressel on the medals stand // Getty Images


The relay magic is back

RIO de JANEIRO — Of all the images from Michael Phelps’ storied career, perhaps none is as visceral — as open and truthfully honest — as the shot from the finish of the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a portrait of Phelps screaming to the heavens in raw, primal, triumphant victory.


Yannick Agnel, Florent Manaudou Fabien Gilot and Jeremy Stravius celebrate their 4x100 relay victory // Getty Images


Déjà two all over again

BARCELONA — With Michael Phelps watching from the stands, the U.S. men took a lead into the final leg of the men’s 4×100 relay here Sunday night at the Palau Sant Jordi.

As the old building roared, what happened in the next 48 or so seconds was either a bad case of déjà two all over again or a matter of the Americans playing not for short-term glory but for long-term reward. Depends on your point of view.


For French relay, revenge is so délicieux

LONDON — One of the enduring images of the 2008 Beijing Olympics is the primal scream that Michael Phelps uttered on the pool deck when Jason Lezak, seemingly seized by an out-of-body experience, delivered a swim for the ages.

In overtaking France’s Alain Bernard, Lezak — who swam 100 meters in 46.06 seconds — secured relay gold for the United States and, not so incidentally, kept alive Phelps’ historic chase for eight gold medals.