Is Michael Phelps coming out of retirement? For months we’ve been hearing news about the most celebrated Olympian making tentative strides for the 2016 Olympic games. Now, it appears that this is very much a real thing, as his coach, Bob Bowman has confirmed for the first time since Phelps’ retirement that he will be tossing himself back into the pool for three events.
Although Phelps set the stage for his retirement at the 2012 Olympic games, and was very clear about it, his coach along, with fans of the sport, hoped that he would at least consider the 2016 Olympic games. Nearly two years later and it looks like Michael Phelps might be reconsidering.
In a statement, Phelps’ coach Bob Bowman said that Phelps has entered in three events at a meet in Arizona on April 24-26. The Olympian will compete in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle, and the 100 butterfly.
“I think he’s just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes. I wouldn’t say it’s a full-fledged comeback.”
Michael Phelps is a 22-time Olympic winner, making him the most celebrated Olympian ever. In the 2012 London Games he took home six medals, four of those gold and two silver. Back in 2008, Phelps broke Mark Spitz’s record for a single Olympics win by taking home eight gold medals. Although he didn’t touch his eight gold wins from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Phelps was confident enough with his run in 2012 to walk away from the sport to focus on other passions.
Talk of Phelps’ possible comeback came last fall when the swimmer returned to training and re-entered the U.S. drug-testing program, which is a must for athletes if they want to compete in the Olympics. As of right now the swimmer has completed his six-month waiting period by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to be eligible for competition.
Even though there’s a lot of excitement building from Michael Phelps entering these three races, as well as training, Bob Bowman isn’t ready to say that he’s a full go for the next Olympic games just yet.
“I think he’s just really enjoying it. 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.”
Here’s to hoping Michael Phelps makes a mighty return. By 2016 he will be 30-years-old.