Skip to Content

On August 14, the greatest Olympian to ever grace the stage of international competition stepped away from the sport that he loves once and for all.

After racking up an astonishing 23 gold medals and leaving a mark on the world of swimming that will no doubt prove far more indelible than those cupping bruises that had the sports media buzzing last week, Michael Phelps announced that he will not be competing in the Tokyo games in 2020.

While we’re sure it was a difficult decision, walking away after a stunning performance in Rio will help ensure that Phelps will forever be remembered as not only the world’s most dominant swimmer, but also as one of the greatest athletes who’s ever lived. 

But while most of us look at Phelps with a mix of awe and patriotic pride, where’s there’s greatness, there will always be those whose thoughts immediately turn to how they can best cash in on the accomplishments of others.

Taylor Lianne Chandler is a woman who claims she hooked up with Phelps via the dating app Tinder back in 2014.

Shortly thereafter, Phelps was arrested for DUI, and the media took a sudden interest in his activities of the previous week.

Chandler took full advantage of the situation, and bizarrely, 22 months later, she’s still trying to build a career out of her brief fling with the Olympian. 

Taylor Lianne Chandler Image

Chandler starred in a Phelps-themed porn; she continues to give interviews in which she gleefully goes into detail about his penis size and sexual proclivities; not a day goes by in which she doesn’t tear the swimmer apart on social media; and she’s even been accused of threatening Phelps’ sister.

Some of this might be understandable behavior coming from a scorned ex (Phelps’ fiancee, Nicole Johnson, and 3-month-old son, Boomer, have both been media darlings at Rio), but there’s no reason to believe that Phelps and Chandler ever engaged in anything more than a few days of purely sexual encounters nearly two full years ago.

In fact, as The Washington Post pointed out at the time, Chandler failed to provide any conclusive evidence that she was ever with Phelps at all.

Several outlets that interviewed Chandler (including this website) have come up frustrated in efforts to corroborate her version of events, as key components of her story (including dates, the nature of her activities with Phelps, etc.) have changed repeatedly over the course of the past two years.

Our official opinion at THG (whom the Post credits with breaking the Phelps/Chandler story) is that the text message screenshots that she made public are the legitimate – but they offer evidence of nothing but a brief, Tinder-facilitated fling.

Even so, while most of the world was focused on the competition in Rio, Chandler put every effort into extending her 15 minutes of undeserved fame.

She retweeted photos of Phelps penis, posted articles from 2014 as though they were the latest news on an ongoing scandal, and even promised a sequel to Going For the Gold – the porn in which she “co-stars” with a man in swim cap and goggles – if she reaches 100,000 followers.

(It looks as though fans of the original will be left waiting for GFTG II.)

At the same time, in logic that’s positively Trump-ian in its irrationality, Chandler has blamed the press and her social media followers for “bullying” her simply by stating the facts of her baffling smear campaign.

While it seems clear that she’s taking her cues from one of the more yuuuuuge politicians of the moment, our advice to Ms. Chandler at this point would be to follow the advice of the revered philosopher Queen Elsa and simply let it go.