Twenty-two-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps returns from retirement to swim in a meet at Mesa, AZ on April 24-26. But his coach Bob Bowman remains cautious and refuses to call it a comeback. Bowman said Phelps is not quite back to competition form.
“I think he’s just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes,” Bowman said by phone from Baltimore. “I wouldn’t say it’s a full-fledged comeback.”
“He’s gotten back into good shape since September,” the coach said. “He can give a good effort and certainly not be embarrassed. He’s in enough shape to swim competitively.”
He will compete in the 50 and 100-meter freestyles and 100 butterfly.
Phelps holds the record for most gold medals (18), gold medals in individual events (11), individual events for a male (13) and in 2008, he set the record for most first place finishes at a single Games with eight gold medals. He competed in London in 2012 and won four gold medals and two silvers medals. 28-year-old Phelps will be 29 in June and he said did not want to swim into his 30s. He would be 31 during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Needless to say Phelps has not been still since he retired. He started swim schools and his own foundation to promote water safety. He also serves as the face of Subway restaurants.
His camp is not saying much about the situation.
“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.”
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