After the 2012 London Olympics, and winning a total of 18 gold medals (22 medals in all) during his Olympic swimming career, Michael Phelps decided to retire at the age of 27.
But has he changed his mind?
Many began to wonder if Phelps would stay out of the competitive world of swimming after being vague about his future with swimming during an interview at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona last June, and even more so when he rejoined the US Anti-Doping Agency and underwent doping tests in November of last year.
Now there is even more speculation that Phelps will be swimming in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and it comes straight from the mouth of Phelps’ swim coach, Bob Bowman. Coach Bowman said ever since Phelps rejoined the testing pool nine months ago, he has been training and attending afternoon practices at the North Baltimore Athletic Club “four-to-five times a week.”
Phelps is now eligible to compete since he has completed the six month waiting period required by the USADA. The probable next step for Phelps would be to compete and earn a spot on the 2015 U.S. World Championship team, which would mean racing at the 2014 U.S. Championships in Irvine, California this August.
“If he swims a meet in the next couple months and does well, he will probably give it a shot in Irvine. But he doesn’t have to do that to have a shot at the 2016 Olympics,” said Bowman.
So will Phelps try to compete at Worlds, or pass go, collect $200 and go straight to Rio? Only time will tell.
If Phelps does return to the competitive waters, Bowman said he will likely focus on shorter events like the 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle.
Fans are excited about the news that Phelps could be competitively swimming again, and breaking more records.
So Michael Phelps may compete again in the 2016 Olympics? Would be like an MJ comeback to swimming…
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) March 25, 2014
— Glenn Mills (@goswim) March 26, 2014
One person had a feeling that Phelps couldn’t stay retired after the London Olympics in 2012.
After London Olympics, I said I didn't believe Michael Phelps could stay retired, that we'd see him in Rio. Hmm… http://t.co/l0cCBrhXIX
— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) March 26, 2014
Image via Bob Bowman, Twitter.