Why Sooner Not Later Is Best For Any Michael Phelps Return

Michael Phelps [photo: USA Swimming]

Coach Bob Bowman has had a part-time power in the pool at his North Baltimore Aquatic Club program in recent weeks: Michael Phelps is back. Getting fit, that is, and “occasionally training with the group to get back in shape”. For what? Golf, probably – but should the greatest Olympian ever opt back in to pools of water and anti-doping, a declaration sooner rather than later would be the wise choice

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Coach Bob Bowman has had a part-time power in the pool at his North Baltimore Aquatic Club program in recent weeks: Michael Phelps is back. Getting fit, that is, and “occasionally training with the group to get back in shape”. For what? Golf, probably – but should the greatest Olympian ever opt back in to pools of water and anti-doping, a declaration sooner rather than later would be the wise choice

Comments

McGillRocks

I’m sort of against a Phelps return, though I seem to be the only one. I just think his career has sort of a perfect symmetry that shouldn’t be messed up.

It goes from 2000-2003 where he became a rising star and 4 time world champion to 2004-2008 where he was 4 times swimmer of the year and won 14 Olympic gold medals, and finished off the final third from 2009-2012 by showing his dominance in the fly and proving again he’s the best ever

To add another Olympic cycle would sort of twist that around for me, and I feel like more harm than good can be done. He has more medals than anyone else, what really could he gain? A 4-peat? winning an Olympic gold in a 6th event? Become the oldest individual Olympic champ ever? What, would his goal be to set every record so no matter what part of swimming we’re talking about we have to mention him as “The oldest ever 100 free world champ” or the “first person to 3-peat again after achieving a 4 pea?”

I do wish that he tried more interesting events in 2011 and 2012. Basically he entered in his old stand buys. I guess that got him 6 more medals, but I would have been more interested to see if he could have won medals in the 100 free, or backstroke, then to see him do the 400 IM and get 4th

Rafael

I would agree that would not be the ideal.. but not for the same reason.

As we all saw on 2012.. 400IM is a hard game to play… and I don´t think he will try that anymore.. he saw itself.. that or he focus on that.. or he don´t go that at all..

His best chances would like on 200IM and 100 fly.. But even on that he may not be the gold favorite anymore.. He was “smarter” than Locthe on 2012 to withdraw from the 200 free.. He would have to stick to 2 3 races (with a “chanche” of no gold medal) and the relays..

Belgium_kangoo

I really hope he returns !!! swimming isn’t done with the legend he is !!

He changed swimming and olympic sport so much in a good way that whatever he decides whatever his reasons, whatever his future results I will always always cheer for him !!

I’m dying to see a rematch of that 200 fly in Rio !!! and I have a feeling this would be the prime reason if he ever comesback !! that was the race he didn’t want to loose.

Anyway, Michael is the closest we have to a swimming god lol so we should all cheer up and be happy that he still likes to swim and might one day still have a go at an olympic race !!

aswimfan

Of course he will return to elite swimming.

Lane Four

I said it during Barcelona, but it felt absolutely surreal watching the Worlds and NOT seeing Phelps in the pool. I am with Belgium_Kangaroo re the 200 fly. IF (and I mean IF) Michael were to return, I could definitely see this as the event he focuses on to win in Rio. He doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone except (perhaps) to himself. He had that 200 fly gold in his hands but as a result of an unfortunate timed finish, he won silver. So we shall see what unfolds and wait….and wait….and wait……

Liliana

He should come back only if HE wants it. Not because of sponsors, not because of IOC or USOC…just in case he wants to compete again and maybe try something new (100 free, for example).

Craig Lord

Absolutely, Liliana

Belgium_kangoo

this article has made me excited again lol I’ve been checking phelps related news the last three days hoping for a great news but he likes to keep us guessing …

I was already planning n making the trip to rio in 2016 but if he swims there’s no way I’m missing it !! Seeing him swim in london was the best swimmig moment of my life by far =D

guest

What do you mean, “get back in shape for what?”!! He has said he has gained weight, he has endorsement deals that require him to look good and he has a cute gf who looks good herself. Everyday people try to stay in shape too…no big deal.

Craig Lord

Context is everything ‘guest’: there is a backdrop of constant speculation that has not elicited a firm ‘absolutely not’, as yet… and so a world awaits news… under those circumstances the question ‘get back in shape for what’ is perfectly legitimate and goes beyond the good reasons you provide

tecumseh

I think the best reason for Phelps to return are Matt Grevers, Conor Dwyer, Kevin Cordes, Nathan Adrian. If Phelps would come back he would have a very, very good chance at two relay golds in the 4x 100 medley and the 4x 200 free and relay medal at 4 x 100 free.

The networks don’t make much of a distinction between individual gold and relay golds. So I think it would be judged a success to get to 20 golds. As for individual wins I think his best chance would really be 200 fly.

Jack

I hope he does what he wants. If he has the desire (or wakes up in a few cold sweats thinking about that last 200 fly), then the U.S. team could use him. Even if he won’t be at his greatest physically, just getting an opportunity to see a single swim team with Phelps, Lochte, Ledecky, and Franklin all together and as full-grown athletes would be remarkable. It would be like being alive to see the New York Yankees of the late 1920’s.

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