Olympic Champion Michael Phelps Insists On ‘No Comebacks’

Despite shake-ups happening in the sport that 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps changed forever, the 33-year-old retired icon insists that he is not coming back.

“In swimming, when you miss one day of training, it takes you two days to get back. In six years, I never missed a single day. It made me better than athletes who took a Sunday off. But now that I am out of the pool, if I go back again, I don’t feel the same. I have lost it. So no comebacks,” Phelps told reporters at an Under Armour event in New Delhi this week.

This may rain on some fans’ parade that were hoping to see the 5-time Olympian grace pools around the world as part of the inaugural International Swimming League, a privatized option to FINA’s newly-launched Champions Series that begins next month. But, at least publicly in these statements, Phelps is content to relish his Olympic memories instead.

“2008 was memorable because I won 8 for 8. Its hard to not say it was the greatest Olympics. But competing in Rio… to climb back to the mountain, was great fun. I felt like a 15 to 16-year-old kid, who was starting to enjoy himself again. They were both very different Olympics. But I love both equally.

“The 2012 Olympics was perhaps when I was in my worst shape. After winning all gold in 2008, it was challenging to figure out my next goal. Later, in 2016, to find the motivation again, and to train and to perform again perfectly, was even more challenging and incredible,” he said.

But, the retired champion confirms his mind is on things well away from the pool. “In the sporting world, I was able to achieve everything I wanted to. Now, I am continuing talking about the importance of healthy and active lifestyles, mental health and water safety. It is something close to me and makes me excited to get out of bed every day,” he said.

Always in a motivating state of mind, Phelps’ advice to the younger generations is, “Never give up on something you truly wanted. If your dream is true, you can do everything to make it a reality. My journey was not always easy… was not always fun. But it was something I truly wanted and there was no one who could stop me from achieving my goals.

“If there is a kid dreaming of 50 Olympic medals, if there is someone dreaming of the stars, they can achieve that,” he said. (Indian Express)

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tea rex
3 years ago

Can we get Cavic or some of the French relay guys to make a comeback and start talking trash? That always seemed to put a fire in Michael’s belly…

Reply to  tea rex
3 years ago

No way. Don’t turn him into Brett Farve. Let the man retire in peace. Besides, the young guns are doing fine. We really don’t need him anymore.

Although I have to admit a personal bias in the situation: if Michael Phelps comes back, we’re going to have to deal with Bob Bowman a lot more often.

3 years ago

Come on folks, he’s done more than enough. Let the man enjoy his new life, he’s earned it. There is plenty from the new generation of swimmers to be excited about.

3 years ago

Before MP can even think about making a comeback, he is going to have to beat Shaq again.

3 years ago

Slow news day so break out the old reliable, “Phelps is not making a comeback” story.
Media should give him some peace. Is 5 Olympics not enough?
I’d love to see an in-shape Phelps vs Lochte 2IM though… but it’s fantasy. He has better things to do.

3 years ago

I’d rather see an out of shape race between them. Force both to sit on the couch and eat garbage and watch netflix all day, every day for like a year. THEN put them up on the blocks and go a 200 IM for time.

It’d be better than watching Cielo throw up a stomach full of gatorade.

3 years ago

Phelps will be swimming in 2028, Boomer Phelps!

SuperSwimmer 2000
Reply to  Swimmomtoo
3 years ago

Uhhhh… He’d be 12.

3 years ago

This is complete nonsense:

“In swimming, when you miss one day of training, it takes you two days to get back.”

…But I’m glad Phelps is enjoying retirement. He sounds healthy and strong.

Reply to  Mikeh
3 years ago

thank you for pointing that out. ridiculous statement

Reply to  Mikeh
3 years ago

Bowman’s “theory” (if you stop training for one year, it will be necessary two years to regain the previous form) reminded by Phelps also in previous interviews.

Siphiwe Baleka
3 years ago

Apparently Michael and many of the SwimSwam fans did not read my article: https://swimswam.com/setting-new-standards-swimming-progression-swimmers-45/

As someone who was a national level swimmer and returned to swimming after 18 years retirement I have some perspective on this. 1) I never thought I would get back into the pool and I sounded just like Phelps. And then I did get back in the pool; a lot of retired swimmers, including Olympians, are swimming Masters like Dave Sims and Josh Davis. If Phelps were to swim Masters, he would likely still qualify for Olympic Trials at age 50; Steve West is the oldest man to qualify at age 40; 2) I am swimming as fast or nearly as fast… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Siphiwe Baleka
3 years ago

There is no way Phelps in his 40’s would be close to Phelps of 2008 or even 2012. While there are several former male Olympians swimming masters and doing well —- at Masters —– the ones you named are not remotely competitive with younger elites. They’re great for their age. There are also a number of former Olympic greats who are not setting the Masters world on fire — Brian Goodell, Matt Biondi, to name a couple. Steve West has slowed by over a second in the 100 LCM breast going from 40 to 46. (Still absolutely amazing). Aging is a bitch, particularly for males. Finally, I’d argue that you’re swimming as fast as in college BECAUSE you’re swimming 25%… Read more »

Siphiwe Baleka
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Well, I am showing that it is possible to retire for a long time and return and swim as fast. If I can do it, surely the GOAT can do it. LOL

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

IAge is hard for anyone.

3 years ago

As much as the media are itching for it, there will be NO comeback this time

Reply to  Tm71
3 years ago

and Team Usa will feel perfectly fine without his comeback ….and he might well be in the Stands in Tokyo to
watch some of the races ….

3 years ago

I’d be surprised if he’s not in Tokyo, but he won’t be in the pool.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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