Michael Phelps has not competed in France since the World Cup Stop in Paris in 2001. That was 16 Olympic medals ago, and shortly before winning his first major international medal in the 200 butterfly at the 2001 Fukuoka World Championships.
Now, he will be back to compete in the 2010 Paris Open from June 26-27. But lest our readers get any ideas about Phelps longing for the beauty of the City of Lights, or craving some frog legs to fill his 6,000 calorie diet, it took a $100,000 euro (roughly $126,000) appearance fee to lure the great aquaking.
He is certainly generating some serious buzz for the meet, which will also feature international superstars Fred Bosquet and Cesar Cielo.