Since he announced that he was returning to competitive swimming for the Olympics in Rio, people have been asking one question: will he stay another four years and make an appearance at the summer games in Tokyo in 2020?
— Lawrence Lease (@lmlleaseEOAN) August 4, 2016
Will Michael Phelps really retire after the Olympics? The speculation continues – Los Angeles Times http://bit.ly/2bj5rrA
— Mich Phelps club (@MichPhelpsclub) August 5, 2016
Even Ryan Lochte hinted that his friend and rival might not be quite finished, saying “[Phelps] will be back” in interviews just a week ago.
— ShadowLines (@ShadowLinesDoc) August 3, 2016
Phelps hinted about it for weeks leading up to the games – and even in a number of interviews between races.
After a three-way tie for silver in the 100 butterfly (gold went to Joseph Schooling), Phelps told the press that he was ready to retire:
“I’m not going four more years and I’m standing by that,” he said. “I’ve been able to do everything I’ve ever put my mind to in the sport and after 24 years in the sport, I’m happy with how things finished.
“I’m happy. I’m ready to spend some time with Boomer and Nicole and watch the little dude grow.”
He said that rival Chad LeClos (who he beat in the 200 butterfly but tied in the 100) had asked him as well following Friday’s race:
“Done. Le Clos asked me in the award area and the Dwyers were chanting ‘four more years’.
They did the same thing in London. The 800 free relay guys said four more years … No. I am NOT going four more years.
And I’m standing by that.
I’ve been able to do everything I’ve ever put my mind to in this sport. And 24 years in the sport. I’m happy with how things finished.”
And he’s certainly come a long way. He entered the international scene at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, at the age of 15:
At 19, he took Athens by storm and tasted gold for the first time. And the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth. He took home two bronze medals for good measure:
In Beijing, he was 23. He was nearly undefeated in Olympic competition. And he did not disappoint the United States. He took home eight gold medals in a single Olympic games, surpassing legend Mark Spitz:
Phelps faltered on the Olympic stage for the first time in London, racking up four more gold medals but taking a silver to South African challenger Chad le Clos in what had become his signature event – the 200 meter butterfly:
Phelps retired after London, but after DUIs a stint in rehab, he came back to finish things on his own terms. He arrived in Rio with a fiance and a new baby, and a completely different attitude:
On Saturday afternoon, Phelps posted a video using Facebook live and talked at length about how he had accomplished what he wanted to in Rio, confirming that Saturday’s 4×100 medley relay, win or lose, would be his final race.
And what a race it was! Phelps, joined by teammates Ryan Murphy (backstroke), Cody Miller (breaststroke), and Nathan Adrian (freestyle), set an Olympic record and took home one more gold medal.
— Kelly Bazzle (@KellyBazzle) August 14, 2016
In his post race interview, he again confirmed his retirement, saying: “It’s not the end of a career, it’s the beginning of a new journey.”
Watch Phelps’s comments via Facebook live:
Michael Phelps won an astounding 23 Olympic gold medals–28 Olympic medals total. And his last was every bit as impressive as his first.
The post The End? Michael Phelps’ Legendary 23rd Gold Medal Was Every Bit as Amazing as His First appeared first on Independent Journal Review.
Source: independent journal
The post The End? Michael Phelps’ Legendary 23rd Gold Medal Was Every Bit as Amazing as His First appeared first on .@tonygreene113.