You speak of a Tweet that has electrified gossip addicts and sports hounds alike since it went live Tuesday night. The Tweet, per the site Nets Daily, alleges that, "At age 10, Michael Phelps was ranked No. 2 among swimmers of his age class. The No. 1 swimmer was Kris Humphries."
But is it true?
Put it this way: There is no one authority out there that can confirm this specific claim.
Instead, what we have are some very telling statistics. The takeaway? Before they could drive or visit a PG-13 movie, both Phelps and Humphries were very, very fast in the pool. But they were never quite neck and neck.
To this day, Humphries—now, of course, a basketballer for the Nets—holds the current speed record for the boys 10 and under, 50 meter freestyle. (That's two laps in your typical high-school pool.) He took that record in 1995, along with the title for 100-meter free.
Phelps, meanwhile, holds the record for 100-meter butterfly, which he set the following year. (Phelps smashed other records later on, as a teenager, but that's neither here nor there.)
Now let's take a look at the 1995-1996 season, which, yes, did pit both boys against each other in several categories. In that time span, Humphries got ranked higher than Phelps in the 100-meter freestyle. But he also was listed higher than two other boys who came in between.
And get this: In the 200-meter freestyle, Phelps was listed as No. 2. Humphries? No. 3.
There are other categories in which both Phelps and Humphries ranked during that key season. (See the full list here.) But there is no contest, for that time span, that saw Humphries individually ranked as No. 1 and Phelps right behind him as No. 2.
Ditto with the previous season.
Keep another fact in mind: Just because the two guys are on the same lists doesn't necessarily confirm that they ever swam in the same pool.
Maybe we should just stick to the Olympics stats; no doubt Phelps is a champ there.