Alternate Ricky Berens found out via Twitter that Michael Phelps would be removing the “individual 200 freestyle from his Olympic program” and live-tweeted his reaction. 

Everyone knows Twitter spreads news at speeds that not even Usain Bolt can match. For Olympic hopeful Ricky Berens, that’s how he got some of the best news of his career.

Berens, a 24-year-old swimmer from North Carolina, finished third in the 200-meter freestyle trials, making him a first alternate behind Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Although he was still going to London to join the U.S. team for two relay races, Berens thought he wouldn’t be able to compete as an individual.

But Bob Bowman, Phelps’s coach, took to Twitter Monday to announce that “@MichaelPhelps will be removing the individual 200 freestyle from his Olympic program.”

Berens essentially live-tweeted his coming to terms with the news.

“WAIT WHAT!!!!” he posted. “I don’t believe this yet!”

“Words can’t describe how I am feeling right now. If Twitter is right, I am swimming the 200 free at the Olympics!!!!! This is nuts!!!” he added.

Of his dozens of tweets, only one expressed a sense of frustration that he found out so publicly. “What happened to a phone call,” he tweeted.

U.S.A Swimming made the announcement official later Monday evening.

Neither Bowman nor Phelps have mentioned Berens on their respective Twitter feeds since the news broke, despite both men being active on their accounts.

Here’s hoping the two are on good terms: They’ll be on the same team for two relay races this summer.

Photo via @rickyberens

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