Via Larry Brown Sports:
If Michael Phelps wanted to, he could return to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and pad his own records. The 18-time gold medal winner could probably snag a few more if he took the time to train properly, but at this point, he has not given us any reason to believe that is going to happen.
During a trip to Brazil to receive the Exceptional Achievement Award at the Laureus World Sports Awards last week, Phelps reiterated that his competitive swimming career is over.
“It has been an amazing career, and it is crazy to think that it is over,” Phelps said according to United Press International. “But I’ve done everything that I wanted to do in sport. I wanted to change swimming and take it to a level, and I have. But I will continue to be a part of sport and help grow sports. That is a goal and a passion of mine.”
Phelps said he is planning to attend the 2016 Olympics as a spectator, but at this point, it appears Ryan Lochte’s prediction about Phelps’ future is unlikely to fruition.
“I am having fun,” Phelps said of enjoying his time off. “I love being retired, I can’t stress it enough. I am happy, smiling, and more relaxed. It’s something that I have wanted for a long time and now I’m happy that I can make the most of it.”
Is it completely out of the question? Phelps is only 27 years old, so it’s not like he would be unable to handle the physical demands of training for another Olympic Games. That being said, he needed an NFL superstar to convince him to compete in London last summer. That probably says all we need to know.