We’ve been peppered with emails, comments, and Tweets today asking about a string of posts to Michael Phelps’ social media accounts that have coyly hinted that his long-time training partner and 8-time Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt might not be done swimming just yet.
After taking relay gold and silver (800 free relay, 400 free relay) in Rio, Schmitt hasn’t raced in an official meet since. In spite of not racing, however, Schmitt never left the USADA drug-testing pool: the one thing a swimmer can do to officially retire. In fact, in 2017 she’s been tested in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarters of the year, meaning that she could still swim a meet at any time without having to sit out the mandatory waiting period to return to competition.
We asked her long-time coach, Bob Bowman, whether or not she was making a comeback, and while he didn’t say it was definitely not happening, he said that it was “hard to say” and that she wasn’t “seriously training” right now.
Even if she’s not swimming hard laps, Schmitt has kept plenty busy. Schmitt has become an outspoken advocate for matters of mental health – using her personal battle with depression as a platform to help others. Now, she’s taking her mission to the next leevel and going back to school to earn her Master of Social Work.
She’ll also do some racing this weekend in Houston. Not against Olympians, though – she’ll take part in a Hurricane Harvey relief fundraiser with Cammile Adams that will include, in part, her racing some of Houston’s best age groupers in a series of all-out 25s. USRPT anyone?
We reached out to Schmitt to see if she had any more definite details about her plans for the future, but as of posting time haven’t heard back.