The majority of the Olympic sports are awesome to watch (sorry, but I can’t get into curling). They typically pit the best of the best in the world in competitions that have stood the test of time (i.e. running, swimming, throwing heavy things, jumping, etc.); the kinds of things that everyone in the world can do—just not as good as the Olympic athletes can.
The downside of course is that you tend to become 'over the hill' pretty quick; even those that are the best in their sport. Sometimes competitors are able to retire before they reach that point; others shuffle out the side door after they completely fall from grace.
Michael Phelps has seen the side door open, and has decided that after the London Summer Olympics he is going to call it a day and retire from competitive swimming.
He admits to losing his way for a time after the last Summer Games, and struggling with his motivation and competitive fire. Getting in trouble for that picture of him hitting a bong couldn’t have helped either (that stuff in the bong could have something to do with the lack of motivation; I’m just saying…).
With 16 Olympic medals to his name, two short of the record (18) held by Soviet Union gymnast Larysa Latynina, many are predictiong Phelps to overtake the all-time career record this summer.
'I kind of feel like my old self again,' Phelps explained in the interview. 'I’m swimming times like I used to. I’m swimming races like I used to. So everything is coming back to me, what it was, I guess, before ’08.'
Either way the kid (at the tender age of 27 I can call him a kid) is retiring with a net worth of $40 million. Go ahead and add me to the legions of jealous people out there.
(Want to watch Phelps set the world record in the 200 meter fly?)
Article by Travis Pulver