“This is closure. Now it’s just a matter of how many toppings I want on my sundae.”-Michael Phelps

Today marks the beginning of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. It also marks the beginning of the end for Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. This year’s Olympics will be his last, he says.

“For Michael Phelps, this is it. In his mind, there’s no doubt about it. As soon as his hand touches the wall for the final time at the London Olympics, his swimming career is over,” reported ESPN.

With 14 gold medals under his belt, Phelps has become an icon for swimming and athletics in general. He’s been making history since he was a teenager.

Kerrily Sapet, author of Xtreme Athletes: Michael Phelps wrote, “By the time he was fifteen, Michael was already on his way to the Olympics, one of the youngest U.S. Olympians ever.”

Phelps once said, “I know what I want to do…. If I become the most decorated Olympian, I do. I’m going through life, doing something I love.” And he very well could become just that this summer, while doing what he loves.

But whatever the outcome, Phelps is certainly enjoying himself more and stressing less this Olympic season. Phelps told reporters, “In Beijing, we were trying to conquer everything. We’re a lot more relaxed [now]. We’re having fun.”

Indeed it does seem Team USA is having a little fun. Reuters reported, “It’s not all hard work and no play for the U.S. swimming team at the London Olympics. A light-hearted, spoof video filmed by the team during training has gone viral on the internet… The video, billed by the team as an attempt to ‘blow off steam’ in the run up to the Games, features swimmers dancing down the aisle of a plane, waving arms around on a bus and even strutting their stuff under water.”

Phelps has some stellar dance moves in the video. But while he’s having a ball with his teammates, he knows that this year’s Olympics will be a milestone for him.

“This is the last competitive meet I’m going to have in my career. It’s big. It’s something I’ve never experienced. I’m going to have a lot of firsts and a lot of lasts this week.”

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

To learn more about Michael Phelps and how his swimming career began, check out Xtreme Athletes: Michael Phelps by Kerrily Sapet. (ISBN 9781599350776)

Published in: on July 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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