Whitney & Hilary Phelps, Michael’s Sisters: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Hilary Phelps, Whitney Phelps, Michael Phelps sisters, Michael Phelps family

Michael Phelps has two older sisters, Whitney (left) and Hilary (right). (Facebook)

Michael Phelps, the most-decorated athlete in Olympic history, isn’t the only athlete in the Phelps family. He has two older sisters – Whitney Phelps Flickinger and Hilary Phelps Eldridge. Both are successful in their own right and Whitney has two children.

Here’s a look at the lives and careers of Phelps’ two sisters.


1. Hilary Phelps Eldridge Founded Her Own Media Company, GJ Media Group

Whitney Phelps, Hilary Phelps, Michael Phelps, Michael Phelps sisters

Hilary, Michael and Whitney Phelps. (Facebook)

Eldridge, who celebrates her birthdays on St. Patrick’s Day, has worked in public relations and the media since 2002. She is based in Washington, D.C. In 2013, she founded her own media company, GJ Media Group, according to her LinkedIn page.

GJ Media, whose name stands for “Genuine Joy,” helps people and companies with branding, creating strategies for traditional and nontraditional media.

Prior to creating her own company, Eldridge worked as a public relations and marketing consultant for SDS/Prime Group from 2002-2005, then Membership Services and Event Coordinator for NAEM from 2005-2009. From 2009 to March 2016, she was a fulfillment coordinator for the Michael Phelps School. During that time, she helped the Michael Phelps Foundation strike a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics International.

Eldridge also swam in college, with a four-year scholarship. She attended the University of Richmond, where she earned a Sociology, Criminal Science degree. She broke four school records, including one in the 200m butterfly.


2. Whitney Phelps Flickinger Swam in College, Excelling at the 200 Meter Butterfly

Whitney Phelps, Michael Phelps sister, Michael Phelps sisters, Michael Phelps family

Whitney Phelp’ Facebook profile picture. (Facebook)

Phelps and Eldridge aren’t the only swimmers in the family who excels in the 200 meter butterfly. Flickinger was a fantastic swimmer during her time at University of Nevada – Las Vegas. According to her college bio, she once set the American record in women’s 200m fly with 1:59.01. She was also named UNLV rookie of the year in her freshman season. When she was 14, Eldridge became the national champion in the 200m butterfly.

In 1996 and 2000, Flickinger tried out for the Olympic team. While she didn’t make it, her brother made the 2000 team when he was only 15 years old.

The 36-year-old Flickinger is now an HR Specialist and recruiter at MarGenics, Inc. in Rockville, Maryland, her LinkedIn page shows. She also worked as a recruiter at The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine from 2010 to 2016.


3. Whitney Ran in the 2012 New York City Marathon, With Michael Cheering Her on

Michael Phelps sisters, Michael Phelps mom, Michael Phelps family

Whitney, Michael and Hilary Phelps with their mother, Debbie, in 2012. (Facebook)

Flickinger isn’t just into swimming. She also ran in the 2012 ING New York City Marathon, with her brother watching on the sidelines. Hilary also took part in the 5K. Whitney also ran the 2009 marathon.

When the New York Daily News asked Flickinger what it was like to have her famous younger brother cheering for her, she said it “feels great.”

“My family has been very supportive,” she told the Daily News. “We’ve been switching up the running routes together, and cross-training in the pool, which keeps things interesting. I can’t wait to see them in New York on race day.”


3. Phelps Always Looked Up to His Sisters & Still Remains close to Them

Michael Phelps family, Michael Phelps sisters, Michael Phelps mother, Michael Phelps 2008

Michael Phelps with his mother, Debbie, and his sisters Hilary and Whitney in 2008. (Instagram)

Tom Himes, who coached the Phelps siblings when they at North Baltimore Aquatic Club, told the Baltimore Sun in 2008 that Phelps “really looked up to Whitney and Hilary.”

Himes explained:

They did a lot of watching after Michael, too. Certainly, as far as swimming goes, Michael didn’t know anything other than being intensely focused on swimming. If his sisters were lackadaisical, maybe he wouldn’t be doing what he’s doing. But he never knew any other way to do it.

In that same Sun piece, Eldridge added that Phelps “Was literally raised on the pool deck… Because we were swimming since he was able to walk, he was at meets all the time. He kind of grew into it.”

Phelps is still close to his sisters, who made it to London in 2012 to cheer him on. While they aren’t in Rio, they continue to cheer him on from afar on social media.


4. Phelps Isn’t Close to His Father, but His Sisters Are

Fred Phelps, Michael Phelps father, Hilary Phelps, Michael Phelps sisters

Hilary with her father, Fred Phelps. (Facebook)

While Phelps is not close to his father, Michael Fred Phelps, his sisters are. They once took Phelps to meet his father over a meal, but Phelps didn’t say anything, notes ESPN.

“I kept trying and trying, but he always had something to do,” Fred Phelps told ESPN of their attempts to reconnect.

Phelps’ mother, Debbie, and his father divorced in 1994, when Phelps was 9 years old.

“My ex-husband loved his kids. He loves his kids,” Debbie told ESPN. “It bothered him. But I don’t think he knew how to fix it. So Michael just kept on escalating and escalating and things were going OK, so he didn’t feel like he needed his dad.”

In a Chicago Tribune interview, Eldridge said that liked how both of her parents supported all three siblings.

“We all have unique gifts that make us incredible in our own right,” Eldrige said. “In our family, all three siblings have always been equally supportive of our accomplishments through the years, both in and out of the water.”


5. Eldridge Just Got Married & Flickinger Has Two Children

Doug Eldridge, Michael Phelps, Michael Phelps brother in law, Michael Phelps sisters

Michael Phelps, his son Boomer and his brother-in-law, Doug Eldridge. (Instagram)

Flickinger is a mother of two and she told the New York Daily News that running helps her “keep up with them.”

In May, Eldridge married Doug Eldridge, a managing partner at DLE Agency. Before the Olympics kicked off, Doug Eldridge posted a cute picture with him meeting Boomer for the first time in Omaha. He posted the picture on the day of the Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony, where phelps carried the U.S. flag.

“Tomorrow marks the Opening Ceremonies for @rio2016 and Michael will be carrying the flag for @teamusa–an honor of all honors–and fittingly, it falls on Boomer’s 3-month birthday,” Doug Eldridge wrote. “For me, Friday marks both the start and finish line of 4 years of hard work, as 7 @dleagency clients will walk into the Olympic Stadium as part of Team USA. More importantly, it falls 2 days before the 3-month wedding anniversary with my beautiful wife, Hilary.”


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