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Michael Phelps had already revealed the true story behind his viral game face, but it seems people are still interested in the iconic 2016 Olympics moment. During his appearance on Thursday’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the host couldn’t resist bringing up the U.S. swimmer’s epic stare, producing a life-size version of the look and prompting him to tell the story behind it.

“The worst is — I was sitting in the ready room and I always know there are two cameras in the upper right-hand corner right before I walk out — and I’m sitting there spitting water,” he said. “And as I’m making a face, I was like, ‘yep, that’s on camera.'”

Fallon then went on to subtly broach the topic of the controversy swirling around Phelps’ teammate Ryan Lochte’s Rio robbery.

Watch the full clip above.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at

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