Is Michael Phelps making an Olympic comeback?
Speculation is heating up following a report from Florida television WBBH in Fort Myers late last week that the 27-year-old Phelps -- who has won a record 22 Olympic medals, including 18 golds -- is planning to return to competitive swimming for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Phelps had announced his retirement following last summer's games in London.
Phelps addressed the issue on his Twitter feed late last week, but the speculation has only continued to pick up since.
Why do I keep getting texts about coming back? Do ppl really believe everything they hear or read? There are ... m.tmi.me/VVJFR
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) May 18, 2013
Former U.S. Olympic swimmer and swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines addressed the Phelps rumors in a story in The Desert Sun, and said he believes Phelps will swim again.
“I always thought he should come back because he has the rest of his life to do whatever else he wants,” Gaines told The Destert Sun, adding:
“I know he has 80,000 gold medals already,” Gaines said. “But still, you don’t want to have that eating at you. ‘What if I would have come back? What if I would have made one last run?’ Especially if he still has the desire to compete.”
“I think he’s coming back,” Gaines said. “I think USA Swimming desperately needs him.”
Phelps' former Olympic teammate Ryan Lochte also weighed in, and he, like Gaines, believes Phelps will return, telling NDTVSports.com:
"Michael Phelps is the hardest racer I ever went up against, and what he's done for this sport of swimming is tremendous," he said. "I hope he comes back in. I think he will. I know he will. It's just a matter of time and when. I know he will."
Lochte wouldn't say if he had talked to the winner of a record 22 Olympic medals who announced his retirement last year following the London Olympic Games.
"I can't say. I just have a feeling. I'll just leave it at that. I have a feeling he'll come back," he said, adding that the sport would be better with Phelps's return.
Here's what being said about Phelps on Twitter
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