In a surprise announcement this week, the Baltimore Bullet plans to stick his big toe into the chlorine water once again.
The most decorated Olympian ever, Michael Phelps, announced that he will be coming out of retirement.
Phelps expects to be back in the pool this month to participate in the April 25 and 26 Arena Grand Prix event in Mesa, AZ.
Swimming fans have speculated that Phelps will test the waters in Arizona as he ponders a possible fifth Summer Olympics to be held in Rio de Janiero in 2016.
Winner of 22 total Olympic medals, twice the amount of the next top medalist, Phelps will only swim in short races in Arizona. Wisely, the 28 year-old will avoid the longer swims as well as the grueling individual medleys.
Bob Bowman, the swimmer’s longtime coach, told The Associated Press on Monday that Phelps is entered in three events — the 50- and 100-meter freestyles and the 100 butterfly.
Though most fans don’t expect Phelps to be as dominant as he was in the 2008 Beijing Games or the 2012 London Games, they are ecstatic to learn that he will be back in the pool.
The 6’4″ and 194 lb. Baltimore native is best described by former Olympic swim champ, Mark Spitz, who set an amazing 33 world records and won seven gold medals in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
When appearing on the Today Show in August 2008, Mark Spitz remarked about Phelps, “He is the single greatest Olympic athlete of all time. He will probably be the single greatest athlete compared to anybody in any century – the 20th, the 21st and whatever.”
It marked an incredible compliment from another legendary Olympic swimmer.
Michael Phelps‘ resume supports Spitz’s comments. Phelps swam all four disciplines (freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly) with exceptional skill. He also served as the world’s best anchor on several world record setting USA relay teams.
During his dozen plus years in the pool, this former 2008 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year has collected a whopping 71 total international medals – 57 of them gold – during his career.
Phelps also set a staggering 39 world records during his countless hours in the pool.
As the most decorated Olympian ever, Michael Phelps is also an easy choice to top my list in my sports comic book Olympic Favorites.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!