Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement. The 22-time Olympic medalist may even have plans to swim at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He will be swimming for the for the first time since 2012 in London at the meet in Mesa, Arizona on April 24-26.
Bob Bowman, Phelps’ coach told the associated press that he is entered for three races (the 50- and 100-meter freestyles as well as the 100 butterfly). “I think he’s just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes,” Bowman said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a full-fledged comeback.”
He began training again last fall, has re-entered the U.S. drug-testing program and has cleared the 6-month waiting period. His coach said that he’s in good enough shape not to embarrass himself but not enough to swim competitively. He’s still working on that.
Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history, and broke the record for most medals in a single Olympics at Beijing in 2008 winning 8. He has 18 gold metals and 22 overall. The swimmer, now 29, vowed that he would never swim into his thirties when he retired about two years ago but it seems like he’s gone back on that promise. Why?
“I think he’s just really enjoying it,” Bowman said. “He enjoys the training and being physically fit. He just kind of wants to see where he’s at. It’s more really for fun. It’s been nice for me to see him swim just for the joy of it really.”
Good luck to him. It would interesting to see how he does after so much time off and even more interesting to see if he could add any more metals to his collection in 2016.