UPDATE: Michael Phelps Denies Comeback Via Twitter, Sort Of

Update 7:57 Central Time: Shortly after Peter Busch Broke this news, Phelps made the following Tweet that seems to deny a comeback, though he doesn’t explicitly state that he is not coming back. This could just be a cover, but it’s the closest thing we have to a from-the-horse’s mouth denial (or confirmation for that matter.) We’ll continue looking for an official, on-the-record statement from someone who knows and will state for certain one way or another. Busch acknowledged Phelps’ comment via his Twitter account, but says he still feels “very confident about [his] info”.



Original Post: It’s no joke: Michael Phelps is considering a comeback it seems. The man with more Olympic medals than any athlete in any sport in history (22) will return to the pool this coming weekend at the Olympic Training Center less than a year after saying he was stepping down for good after the London Olympics.

Phelps said many times that he had no intention of swimming professionally after the age of 30, but it would seem as though that might be where he’s headed (he would be 31 by the start of the 2016 Olympics.)

Peter Busch of NBC2 in Florida, says that he has confirmed the rumor as fact. His father Frank Busch is the USA Swimming National Team Director, so even though Busch doesn’t name a source, it would seem to be a pretty reliable leak of information. We have been unable to independently confirm the reports, however.

During his brief retirement, Phelps made a serious run into the world of golf, playing several ProAm tournaments and being the star of the latest season of the Haney Project on the Golf Channel, where pro golf coach Hank Haney tried to improve Phelps’ golf game.

Phelps will have to sit out 9 months after his return to the drug testing pool prior to returning to FINA and USA Swimming sanctioned competition. Nobody’s quite positive of when he reentered the pool, or even if he has for sure, but he wasn’t tested in the 4th quarter of 2012, meaning that it’s unlikely he’d be eligible for this summer’s World Championship Trials (or in shape, for that matter.)

Phelps is believed to be headed to Colorado Springs and the Olympic Training Center in the next week to jumpstart his return.

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I. Can’t. Even.

I’m not shocked, but I kind of am at the same time. I was just talking to a friend hypothesizing all the reasons he’d be going to the OTC because I don’t want to get too excited over nothing.. but if y’all say it’s true!

Philip Johnson

I called it. That didn’t take long lol and we shouldn’t be surprised because this isn’t the first time he’s gone back on his word (hopefully he doesn’t change his mind again!). Not only is this good news for the US team, but this is great for swimming!

I think it’s time for Phelps to have fun and take it easy. Drop all the races 200-meters and above and focus on the 100-meter races. that is, the 100 free (he can easily be the top-two in the event) and the 100 fly. the only exception i can think is the 800 free relay, where the US could use him.


Why drop the 200 fly? He’s been the most dominant swimmer to ever swim the event. It’s clearly not a “difficult” event for him and it’s the event he swam in his first Olympics in 2000.

Philip Johnson

As he’s getting older, I’m just saying the endurance may not be there. If he continues it, good on him, but I would like to see what his full potential on the sprint events can be.

Top two 100 free on US right? On world level.. I think he actually has a much bigger chance on 200 fly than 100 free..

Naya Missy

Actually, he split 47.15 at last year’s Olympics in the 400 free relay, a time that would have won the Olympic final of the 100m free.


A split is a split, he won´t go 47.1 flat start.. Agnel split 46.7.. so?


There’s a lot of factors going in relay splits… the wave, the draft, etc.

Are you also saying that Lezak would have won 100 free in Beijing.


Bosquet had the second fastest textile split ever before 2012, and look where it took him in individual 100 free: in worldwide major competitions spanning 10 years, all he won was a 100 free bronze in 2009 Rome, thanks to his Jaked.


Physiologically sprints should suffer before endurance. As one ages the innervation that is responsible for vertical jumping, short distance racing, putting in golf is the first to be affected. Because of this, as golfers age they get the yips, as runners age the spinters go before distance runners etc. Anything that requires quick muscle action (vertical jump in basketball or track) will go before pure strength. Since this is true a 200 fly would be more logical than a 100 or 50 free; generally of course, as there is Anthony Ervin at age 31.


Did you forget that he lost his “unbeatable” 200 fly gold in London to le Clos?

Le Clos will only get stronger in the 200, while Phelps, superfish or not, will lose endurance over 200 – a perk of getting older.

A swim fan

Perhaps Bowman as head coach of World Team wanted to put a fire under Lochte and the (somewhat) weak mens group of swimmers this year. Also could be a way of getting NBAC swimmers at OTC ready to race..People like Schmitt. Sure didn’t take phelps long and I sure love it!

Philip Johnson

I know you said “somewhat”, but what other country has as much depth as the US men? Phelps has been a boost for them for awhile but excluding him, I still think they have a well-rounded group.

A swim fan

I meant to say that the US relays aren’t at their strongest right now and could use a phelps boost. I agree the US looks pretty strong across the board

Philip Johnson

Phelps was instrumental on all those relays and couldn’t definitely use his help.

Philip Johnson

*could use his help.


I’ve always found it so interesting…Phelps has pretty much single-handedly inspired a generation of youngsters to pursue swimming—and these youngsters are just now beginning to show their dominance. YET at the same time, phelps’ utter dominance in his plethora of events have forced many current swimmers to defer away to other events. Now that he’s retired (i really do think he’ll stay retired…though I could see that he might help Bob coach and provide motivation), there is an admitted dearth of talent in phelps’ signature events. Quite ironic actually. More than anything, would love to see phelps involve himself in swimming again. He essentially withdrew from all aspects of the sport–no clinics, no interviews, no commentating….just golf golf and golf.… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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