Is he or isn’t he? An NBC television member- WBBH, reported that Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps is planning on returning to competitive swimming hoping to reach the 2016 Rio Olympics. The report had no sources, but was written by Peter Busch, son of Frank Busch, the director of the U.S. national swim team.
This report comes after Phelps retired at age 27 following last summer’s London Olympics. Phelps has over 22 medals which is far more than any other Olympian.
The swimmer took to his Twitter to downplay the rumors: “Why do I keep getting texts bout coming back?” he tweeted. “Do (people) really believe everything they hear or read? There are (too) many (people) in the world that think they have a ‘story’.”
It’s been pointed out, that while Phelps chastised people for believing the rumor, he never said if the rumor was true or not.
There have been no other comments from anyone in the Phelps camp or officials of the USA Swimming, however fellow swimmer and long-time rival Ryan Lochte has spoken out about his skepticism.
“I can’t really talk about it,” Lochte said “But who knows.” His skepticism comes from Phelps leaving a sport that he has dominated for the past decade, especially when many swimmers compete well into their 30s.
Phelps is persistent though, that there is no reason for him to return. He told The Associated Press last December that London, where he won four gold medals and two silvers was the perfect way to end his career.
“I wanted to leave that way,” he said. “I’m sure I could come back in another four years, but why? I’ve done everything I wanted to. There’s no point in me coming back.”
Could another sport be in his horizon?
After the Olympics, Phelps turned to golfing, even shooting a show with famed instructor Hank Haney, signing an endorsement deal with Ping, and participating in events.
Golf is returning to the Olympics just in time for Rio, so is there a possibility for a crossover? Short answer: No. Phelps was only joking when he said that the only way he’d return to the Olympics was through golf.
However, if Phelps does decide to return to swimming he will have to wait nine months to compete due to the world anti-doping policy. This would put him at prime time, gearing him for the 2015 Worlds in Russia, and then the 2016 Olympics in Rio.