Michael Phelps To Swim 50, 100 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly at the Mesa Grand Prix

  66 Gold Medal Mel Stewart | April 15th, 2014 | Arena Pro Swim Series, Featured, International, National, News

According to Michael Phelps communications representative, Octagon’s Drew Johnson, Phelps plans to swim the 50 and 100-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly at the 2014 Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Arizona, reports Mike Klingaman of the Baltimore Sun.

NBAC Head Coach, Bob Bowman

NBAC Head Coach Bob Bowman

USA Swimming officially confirmed Phelps was coming out of retirement and returning to competition in Mesa, April 24-26th, yesterday in a press release.

On Monday, during the media horde’s rush to learn more, NBAC Head Coach Bob Bowman was low-key about his star swimmer’s return to the pool, managing expectations considering Phelps’ 18-month absence from competition. When asked how he felt Phelps would perform, Bowman told the Klingaman:

“I think he certainly won’t be embarrassed swimming in the meet,” Bowman said, “and I think he will be competitive. The difference is, he is doing half the training he used to.”

Bowman further cautioned that long-term plans — the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio — had been discussed in general terms, but that they were merely taking Phelps’ competitions one meet at a time.

As predicted by SwimSwam, Phelps’ schedule will skew to the shorter events, sprint races, as he eases back into competition.  Interestingly, Phelps showed a lot of promise back in 2010, the same Pan Pacific Championship season he’s working through now, in the 100 meter freestyle.  Coming off of a spectacular 2008 Olympic Games and 2009 World Championships, Phelps was off in most of his events. He clearly wasn’t engaged. His 200m butterfly was painfully slow and his 400m IM looked like molasses in the water. Rumors swirled that Phelps wasn’t motivated to race, that he had been missing workout sessions that season, and no one could blame the Olympic icon after all of the success he had achieved. Then Phelps leadoff the 4x100m freestyle relay in a 48.1. The crowd collectively gasped. Phelps could obviously switch it on when he needed.

Expect Phelps to experience many ups and downs as he works through his meet schedule over the next 90 days, with glimmers of greatness and signs that he could actually achieve personal best times in his sprint events.

Returning to the sport of swimming, the Greatest Olympian of All-Time will certainly impact coverage and continue to attract more children to the sport, increasing the base, but how will it impact his wallet? According to Bloomberg, Phelps should see a net gain.

Rick Burton, who served as chief marketing officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the 2008 Games in Beijing, told Bloomberg:

Peter Carlisle, Octagon Managing Director

Peter Carlisle, Octagon Olympic & Action Sports Managing Director, Michael Phelps’ longtime manager

While yesterday’s announcement was best for brands such as Subway Restaurants that are already associated with Phelps, new endorsers will likely want to know his plans for the 2016 Games.

Octagon has been Phelps’ sports management representative since he turned pro at the tender age of 16. Peter Carlisle, Phelps’ longtime manager, could not be reached for comment, but he has been consistent about his approach to building the Phelps brand. Carlisle likes companies with global marketing and advertising campaigns. While Phelps is a Team USA athlete, he’s an international icon. Phelps’ inspiration transcends borders and nationalities. He is everyone’s hero and belongs to world.

Eidtor Note: According to Forbes Magazine, prior to 2012, Phelps was earning roughly $7 million per year from corporate partners Subway, VISA, Speedo, Procter & Gamble and Under Armour.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

66 Comments on "Michael Phelps To Swim 50, 100 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly at the Mesa Grand Prix"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Pvdh
2 years 5 months ago

22.4, 49.0, 52.8

Pvk
2 years 5 months ago

22.5 48.9 52.5. He should’ve just swam for fun, now the pressure is on as well as the criticism. I think he should’ve stopped after 2008, when his stardom & performace was unmatchable!

jd14
2 years 5 months ago

Mel, I’d like your input on this, do you believe if Michael swims and makes the Pan Pacs team at Nationals would he still be considered to swim on all three relays? Or would be have to swim the individual 100 fly 100/200 frees to make the relays?

DanDanThePartyMan
2 years 5 months ago

Whoop! So excited to see what Phelps does in Mesa! I just really hope the meet doesn’t get cancelled due to inclement weather. I heard that its supposed to snow the entire weekend there, swimming in the snow is no fun. The meet is in New York though so it probably will snow 🙁 Thats the only reason why he won’t break :50 in the 100 fly in my opinion.

Mike15
2 years 5 months ago

The meet is in Arizona, not in New York. Just to clarify.

WHOKNOWS
2 years 5 months ago

Phelps loves to race. He is good at evaluating his performances. It will be interesting to see what times he will be entered at. Two days of racing! Lots of interview requests!

SwimmerTX
2 years 5 months ago

Hopefully this will put an end to Chad Le clos crazy toying around with the competetion antics.

jiggs
2 years 5 months ago

“The difference is, he is doing half the training he is used to.” Maybe that means he’s doing USRPT – then his sprint times are finally going to start dropping like insane.

sven
2 years 5 months ago

I think, by comments he made in the past, that Bowman has more or less fully staked his reputation on his high yardage system to buy into something like USRPT. It’s not impossible, but it would be cool just to see what happens.

Kirk Nelson
2 years 5 months ago

I bet Michael’s primarily been doing one-a-days.

sven
2 years 5 months ago

That’s my guess as well. I think they’ll wait to start pulling doubles until he fully commits to Rio.

2 years 5 months ago

I think so too

Steve Nolan
2 years 5 months ago

As predicted by SwimSwam, Phelps’ schedule will skew to…”

Who do you guys think you are, ASwimfan?

TJ
2 years 5 months ago

Seriously guys, ASWIMFAN predicted this way back when. You should’ve marked his words

whoknows
2 years 5 months ago
swimcat
2 years 5 months ago

Very excited…but realistically, at a meet in April, I think we should expect more around 22.9, 50.1, and 52.9. In 2011 he was 49.4 in the 100 around this time.

bobo gigi
2 years 5 months ago

Mel, you’re right to talk about his summer 2010. MP struggled a little bit in the longest races (at his level of course, 1.54 in the 200 fly, 1.45 in the 200 free and 1.55 in the 200 IM) but had great speed. He swam, as you said, 48.13 in the lead-off of the relay. And he also swam a great 50.65 in the 100 fly.

bobo gigi
2 years 5 months ago

For the MP fans, an interesting TV report made a few years ago.
And at the same time you will work your French. 🙂

Hippo-Ki
2 years 5 months ago

thanks for sharing the video. absolutely love it.
french language sounds good to the ears 😀

Josh
2 years 5 months ago

Yahoo Sports stated yesterday that Phelps may/would swim Fly for the 50. Any truth to that? Seemed odd to me.

BillBillBillBilll
2 years 5 months ago

I’m super pumped to see the third greatest swimmer in history come back to the sport. Hopefully Michael Andrews, the greatest in the sport, and/or Dylan Bosch, the second greatest in the history of swimming, fly to Mesa and compete against phelps. Should be great to see Andrews and clary(top two in history) compete against the third best!

Sven
2 years 5 months ago

It’s comments like these that make me wish swimswam had an upvote system.

SvenCambell
2 years 5 months ago

Hey Sven! We have the same name!

PAC12BACKER
2 years 5 months ago

Come on. Seriously, is your name really SVEN? Otherwise, leave that name for the real McCoy’s. Gheesh.

sven
2 years 5 months ago

Is your name really PAC12BACKER?

Hippo-Ki
2 years 5 months ago

and i am madly confused with what u’ve said here. lol

ozswim
2 years 5 months ago

Seriously? Third best? No way

NickH
2 years 5 months ago

23.0,49.7,53.2

aswimfan
2 years 5 months ago

Yes, those are very realistic prediction.

completelyconquered
2 years 5 months ago

Last time I remember Phelps swimming the 50 free was at the Charlotte Ultraswim in 2009, when the straight-arm freestyle was all the rage. He only went a 23.2 there. I’m pretty sure we’ll see something similar to that time at Mesa.

Steve Nolan
2 years 5 months ago

I remember all the hype about him “changing his stroke” to focus on his freestyle sprinting. Oh, did I ever buy into it. “HE’S GONNA GO LIKE, A 45 YOU GUYS, JUST WAIT.”

bobo gigi
2 years 5 months ago
Billy
2 years 5 months ago

My post about Herman was removed. I love dogs, not fair!

I did not think MP would come back, but I’m usually wrong so whaddya gonna do?

I’m very curious to see how MP will do but with all that ability, he’ll probably represent just fine.

Swimming is back on the front page of the news. That’s a good thing!

David
2 years 5 months ago

Phelps has most probably come back for the reIays.
Even so, he needs to target the 200im
I’m still cheesed off that his 200 free and im records were broken.
That 200 free record is just too ridiculous to ever be broken so forget it.
But the 200im record Phelps now must work towards and then he really can ride into that sunset forever.

Atento
2 years 5 months ago

My friends, MP will go 50.27 100 free, 53.09 100 fly and He will swim fly in the 50 fr and go 24.03

john26
2 years 5 months ago

To be honest, I believe that Hagino will have a go at that 200IM WR at or before Rio. I wouldn’t be surprised if he drops a second in each of his 200m swims and he’s no doubt going to work on his breaststroke. I believe that he’s already ready to have a crack at that record if he brings his breastroke to the level of Phelps or Lochte, he could very well be deep under 1:54 by then.

I don’t feel that its a good idea for Phelps to take a crack at the 200IM. His chance at the 4peat is much better in the 100fly, sure he’d only have 1 shot at the 4peat, but the 200IM willhurt his chances at that.

Rafael
2 years 5 months ago

Well.. Le Clos went 51 low going quite easy at first and came back looking everywhere around.. if he goes serious he may have a better shot at Crocker Textile than Phelps..

sven
2 years 5 months ago

What constitutes “textile”? I’m not just asking Raf, but the community at large, since I’ve seen Crocker’s 50.40 referred to multiple times as a textile record. He was wearing FS2 legs, which are textile but they extend past the knee. So does “textile” only refer to the material composing the suit, does it just mean “pre-2008 and post-2009,” or is it a term we’re using to mean “legal suit?” I’m fine with it, if that’s the standard we all agree on, I’m just a bit confused.

I can’t find video for Crocker’s 50.76, but he was wearing legs when he went 50.98. Fastest time from London 2012 was Phelps 50.86. Anyone know of a faster jammer times off the top of their head?

Rafael
2 years 5 months ago

Textile includes the FS2 legs, even included Thorpe bodysuit (But If I am correct his 3:40:70 (around it) was even on Briefs.. only his 3:40:08 was on bodysuit)

But for that.. The last one full textile record (Briefs, not even jammers or legs) was Thorpe WR on 200 If I am not wrong

iLikePsych
2 years 5 months ago

Textile means no rubber, i.e. the LZR and all the even further ridiculousness that followed. The PRO, even if a full bodyskin, would still count. I’m pretty sure most textile records now were set in jammers/kneeskins i.e. the standard coverage now, rather than the extra coverage suits.

john26
2 years 5 months ago

I honestly dont think this “looking around” would cost him tremendously if he’s just side breathing (which, lets be honest, could be what he’s doing). I acknowledge that he didn’t do that in London, but hey.

My rationale for Phelps was his 50.65 in 2010. That was perhaps the swim I was least expecting that he’s ever done.

sven
2 years 5 months ago

If I remember right, Lochte was 32.8 on the breaststroke leg at Worlds last summer (and 33.0 when he set the WR). Hagino was 33.8 on his, so like you say, if he can get it down to Lochte’s level, he’s sitting at ~1:54.4. A second drop is a tall order, but that’s easily the area where he has the most room for improvement so it’s possible. So as his breaststroke improves and he continues to develop closing speed, I think he’ll be a solid contender for gold in Rio and he could possibly shoot for Lochte’s WR. Big things ahead! Send that kid to work with Kitajima’s coach!

Sidenote: I think that no matter how much Hagino’s breaststroke improves on top of the water, Lochte’s push off and pullout will always give him the edge over Hagino. The power difference is palpable. He might have age on his side by Rio, though.

Compared to Phelps and Lochte (using splits from 2011 Shanghai, where each of their best times are from), Hagino is .14-.2 slower in the fly, .1 faster than Phelps and .1 slower than lochte in the back, .7-.8 slower in the breast, and .4-.5 slower in the free. He would’ve been .05 and .24 behind Phelps and Lochte, respectively, at the 100. He gives up about 1.2 seconds on his back half, though. If and when he cleans up the second 100, he’s going to be absolutely terrifying.

wpDiscuz

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

Read More »