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Even A 'No' Is An Olympic Moment When It's Said By Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps and the special award he received Saturday night to mark his Olympic achievements. (Getty Images)closemore
Michael Phelps and the special award he received Saturday night to mark his Olympic achievements. (Getty Images)

An only-at-the-Olympics tale:

As Michael Phelps left a news conference at the Olympic Aquatic Center on Saturday, a photographer rushed up and asked, "Can I get one more photo?"

Michael Phelps as he departed, and just before he says "no." (Ed Hula III)
Michael Phelps as he departed, and just before he says "no." (Ed Hula III)

There is, of course, no shortage of photos of the American swimming great. He has posed for them more times than most of us ever will. But this time, Phelps continued walking through a doorway, not stopping or turning back, cradling a silver trophy honoring him as the greatest Olympian of all time. And before the door shut behind him, after one of the last news conferences of his career, Phelps had a one-word answer.

"No," he shouted, emphatically.

The photographer, Ed Hula III of Around the Rings, turned to me smiling.

"Michael Phelps just talked to me!" he said. "He talked to ME!"

Update at 11:35 a.m. ET. A Parting Shot.

Hula sent along a photo he snapped just as Phelps was leaving the room, right before the "no!"

Copyright NPR 2016.

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