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Michael Phelps Coming Out of Retirement; Can 2016 Rio Olympics Be Next?

The record-setting Olympic swimmer got back in a North Baltimore pool last fall and plans to compete in a national meet in late April. Is this all with an eye toward the 2016 Rio Olympics?

Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement to compete in an event in Arizona later this month. File|Patch
Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement to compete in an event in Arizona later this month. File|Patch

Maryland native Michael Phelps – the most decorated Olympic athlete in history -- is coming out of retirement, the first step toward swimming at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 22-time Olympic medalist will compete for the first time since the 2012 London Olympics at a meet in Mesa, Ariz., on April 24-26, according to an Associated Press story posted by ABC News.

Phelps returned to training last fall and re-entered the U.S. drug-testing program. He has completed his six-month waiting period to be eligible for competition by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Phelps turns 29 in June and has the most wins in Olympic history. He captured 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall at the last three Summer Games. He broke Mark Spitz's record for a single Olympics by winning eight gold medals at Beijing in 2008.

Phelps rejoined the U.S. drug testing program -- a requirement to enter upcoming international competitions -- sparking rumors last fall that he is planning a comeback for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, according to a WBAL-TV story.

 

The Towson native told The Associated Press in November that "nothing is set in stone" though clearly he has enjoyed getting back into shape -- he's down about 15 pounds -- and working out with his former team at the North Baltimore Aquatic Clubreports ESPN.

"If I decide to keep going and swim again, then I'll compete," Phelps told the AP. "If I don't," he added, letting out a big laugh, "I guess I'll re-retire. Just don't compare me to Brett Favre."

His former coach and close friend, Bob Bowman, said Phelps re-entered the drug-testing program near the end of the second quarter, reports ESPN. Phelps would be eligible to compete again in March, according to Bowman.

Phelps retired at age 27 after winning six more medals at the 2012 London Olympics. He had long said his goal was to retire from swimming before he turned 30, the AP reported.

Pat April 14, 2014 at 05:29 PM
I really do wish he would stay retired and give the young guys a chance. He's had his day in the sun. Time to sit back and enjoy the up- and- comers.
runymede April 15, 2014 at 07:38 AM
Who cares ?
Steven Spiegel April 15, 2014 at 10:31 PM
What does Mike retiring have a thing to do with the young up and comers having a chance ? They have a chance to swim against him and beat him if they train hard enough !!!!!! That is why its a competition . I believe retirement at 30 is absurd . They pay those guys to much if they can retire at age 30.
Kevin April 17, 2014 at 05:11 PM
I couldn't care less. I cant stand his dufus face on Subway commercials.
Steven Spiegel April 18, 2014 at 05:55 AM
I have heard from several people but have never met him myself but they say he is a real asshole when it comes to talking to him on the street . I have never met him he looks like he can be a ass especially after getting his photo taken while smoking weed . When you are in the public image you don't go to parties and smoke weed at friends parties while people are snapping photos !!!!

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