It might seem hard to believe that the most decorated Olympic athlete in history contemplated suicide after the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
But in 2014, Michael Phelps told ESPN that's exactly what happened in the wake of his high-profile DUIs. He said Rick Warren's 2002 book The Purpose Driven Life helped him to choose a different path. "I thought the world would just be better off without me," Phelps said at the time. "I figured that was the best thing to do – just end my life."
Former Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis gave him a copy of the book. "I basically told him, 'Okay, everything has a purpose, and now, guess what? It's time to wake up,'" Lewis told the Washington Post. Phelps said that the book "turned me into believing that there is a power greater than myself and there is a purpose for me on this planet" and "helped me when I was in a place that I needed the most help."
[christianitytoday.com, 8/12/16; christianpost.com, 8/10/16; foxnews.com, 8/10/16; espn.com, 6/23/16]