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American Shark, Phelps eyes return to swimming

August 3, 2013
Photo: Victor Fraile/Getty Images

Photo: Victor Fraile/Getty Images

Swimming legend Michael Phelps is considering a return to the waters. Nicknamed American shark, Phelps walked away from swimming after the London Olympics adamant that his career was over. However, he’s now not so sure.

Saying he is not happier with his life and certainly does not miss the grind of what it took to become the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, Phelps is leaving the door open to change his mind before the 2016 Rio Games. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.” He said.

In Barcelona for the world swimming championships, Phelps spoke told the Associated Press and other international media organizations when asked that he will compete at the next Olympics. Phelps said he has not planned that far ahead in his life. That’s a striking change from his comments before and immediately after the London Games, when he insisted his retirement was set in stone and it had always been his goal to quit swimming before he turned 30. Phelps will be 31 at the time of the opening ceremony for the Rio Games. “I don’t know. We’re in 2013,” he said, before adding, “There’s nothing in the works right now.” There’s plenty of time for a comeback.

Phelps would likely want to begin training before the end of the year, which would allow him to get into peak condition leading up to the next world championships in 2015, an important stepping stone for the Olympics. Phelps certainly isn’t training at the moment. He jammed the small toe of his right foot on the edge of a sofa while at home in Baltimore, and aggravated the injury when he played in a golf tournament at Lake Tahoe.

After some sightseeing and promotional appearances, Phelps took in a second night of swimming at the Palau Sant Jordi before leaving to head back to the U.S. I have no plans to do anything,” Phelps said. “I love what I’m doing now. I’m able to travel so much, play golf. I’m on my schedule. I’ve never been able to have that. I’ve never been able to do really whatever I want to do. I go wherever I want to go. I see whatever I want to see. It’s nice waking up at 10, 11, 12 o’clock in the afternoon. I’m pretty lazy besides playing golf. I don’t do much.”

He once joked the only way he would be at the Rio Games was as a golfer (the sport is returning to the Olympic program in 2016).

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