Michael Phelps has reaffirmed his decision to make the 2012 Olympics the last of his career, and that he will not swim over the age of 30.
When the 14-time Gold Medalist competes in London in 2012, he will be 27 years old.
“I told myself I will not swim over the age of 30 and I will not,” he told the BBC.
Phelps will turn 31 just weeks before the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, on June 30th, and many hoped that he would stretch that deadline for a few more months to compete in his fourth Olympics, and extend what will then likely be a dominating lead in the all-time gold medal count. Phelps’ 14 gold medals already puts him ahead of Ray Elwyn, who won 10 in track and field during the first decade of the 1900’s.
As to how many golds Phelps could potentially win in London, even he is unsure. All he knows is that it will be fewer than the massive haul of 8 he scored in Beijing.
“I don’t even know,” he said about how many races he would enter in London. “But I will say it’s not eight, I’ll give you that one.”
Phelps is going to use the Pan-Pacific Games this year and next year’s World Championships to experiment with different meet lineups, and see how his body reacts to different combinations of events.
On Monday, it was announced that Phelps would become the first official ambassador to the Youth Olympic Games, which will take place this summer in Singapore. This move was perhaps made in preperation for Phelps’ career post-pool, as a set-up for some sort of administrative role within the Olympic organization.
“The Youth Olympic Games is an excellent initiative, not only for the athletes competing but also those who are inspired to get into sport and be more active,” said Phelps to the AFP.