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23/08/2014

Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement

Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement, lured back into the pool by the fun of it and the possibility of swimming at a fifth Olympics in Rio in 2016.Joique Bell White Jersey . The 22-time Olympic medallist will compete for the first time since the 2012 London Games at a meet in Mesa, Ariz., on April 24-26. Bob Bowman, the swimmers longtime coach, told The Associated Press on Monday that Phelps is entered in three events -- the 50- and 100-meter freestyles and the 100 butterfly. "I think hes just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes," Bowman said by phone from Baltimore. "I wouldnt say its a full-fledged comeback." Phelps returned to training last fall and re-entered the U.S. drug-testing program. He has completed his six-month waiting period by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to be eligible for competition. Bowman said Phelps is "pretty far" from being back in top form. Hes been training Monday through Friday with Bowmans team at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club in his hometown. "Hes gotten back into good shape since September," the coach said. "He can give a good effort and certainly not be embarrassed. Hes in enough shape to swim competitively." Besides Phelps, USA Swimming said Olympians Ryan Lochte and Katie Ledecky are among those expected to swim in the Arena Grand Prix at Skyline Aquatic Center. "Im excited to see what he can do," Ledecky told the AP by phone in between classes at her high school in Maryland. "Definitely, itll bring some more energy to swimming again." Phelps turns 29 in June and is the winningest and most decorated athlete in Olympic history. He captured 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall at the last three Summer Games. He broke Mark Spitzs record for a single Olympics by winning eight gold medals at Beijing in 2008. If he comes back and doesnt dominate, Bowman said it wouldnt tarnish Phelps reputation. "His legacy is sealed," the coach said. Ledecky agreed that Phelps has nothing to lose by diving back in. "Its just for his own personal kind of thing," she said. "Hes already done so much. Whether he adds a couple more gold medals or not, what hes done has been so incredible, whatever he does next should be accepted by all." Phelps had vowed that he wouldnt swim into his 30s. Since retiring less than two years ago, he has stayed busy with a chain of swim schools, a foundation focused on water safety and appearances on behalf of his sponsors. He devoted lots of time to golf and participated in a reality show with famed coach Hank Haney. Five-time Olympian Dara Torres knows about comebacks. At 41, she made the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in her second return to the sport and won three silver medals. At 33, she made the 2000 Olympics after seven years in retirement. Torres said she came back twice because she missed competing. "Knowing how competitive Michael is, Im sure thats a big factor," Torres said. "When youre on top of your sport and all of a sudden youre not and youre out there in life, you miss what you used to do. When you retire, nothing is structured; with swimming, its very structured." Phelps camp is being low-key about the comeback, and he wasnt made available to speak Monday. "I think hes just really enjoying it," Bowman said. "He enjoys the training and being physically fit. He just kind of wants to see where hes at. Its more really for fun. Its been nice for me to see him swim just for the joy of it really." Olympian Jessica Hardy, who will compete in Mesa, said many swimmers were surprised by the news. "He kept it pretty much under wraps," she said. "Even if hes not at peak performance, its great for the sport and each athlete particularly to keep learning from him. I dont think anyone wants to put pressure on him. Hes accomplished everything you pretty much can. Its just great to see what else you can do." Phelps wont be coming back for the money, having earned tens of millions of dollars in endorsements during his career. However, his endorsement potential certainly goes up if hes in the water. His presence on the pool deck will give a boost to USA Swimming, which can endlessly market him. "Anytime you can have the most decorated Olympian in history in the pool, its a fantastic thing for swimming," said Chuck Wielgus, executive director of USA Swimming. "USA Swimming and Michael share the goal of growing the sport, and his return to competition will surely inspire even more kids to give swimming a try." Phelps name recognition goes far beyond the pool deck. Hes as well-known as athletes from far more prominent sports, such as NBA star LeBron James, which is an accomplishment for a swimmer whose sport gets most of its attention in an Olympic year. In Mesa, Phelps will swim 100 free and 100 fly preliminaries on the first day. Then, if he qualifies, hell decide which race to swim for the evening finals, Bowman said. Hell swim the 50 free on the second day and might swim the 50 fly "just for fun," the coach added. "I bet youre going to see a little spark in him that you didnt see in 2012," Torres said. Phelps will stick to the shorter races and some relays rather than the grueling individual medleys he swam during the height of his career. "Hes really doing this because he wants to -- theres no outside pressure at all," Bowman said. Phelps has already entered the remaining Grand Prix meets in Charlotte, N.C., in May and Santa Clara, Calif., in June, although Bowman said no decision has been made on whether he will compete. Depending on his early results, Phelps could compete in the U.S. National Championships in August in Irvine, Calif., where teams will be selected for the 2015 world championships. "I wouldnt say its 100 per cent on the radar," Bowman said. "After Mesa, were going to sit down and talk about it." http://www.shopjerseyslions.com/Womens-Golden-Tate-III-Authentic-Jersey/ . Only this time, they were preparing for a date with the 2013-14 Presidents Trophy winning Boston Bruins, who secured their spot in the second round after defeating the Detroit Red Wings in five games. http://www.shopjerseyslions.com/Womens-Travis-Swanson-Authentic-Jersey/ . Marie Greyhounds centre Jared McCann is the big mover this month, jumping into the top ten of the International Scouting Services prospect rankings for December.Not many outside the International team room are giving the squad from the rest of the world much of a chance in this years Presidents Cup and looking at the records of the 24 players involved, you can understand that stance. On paper, it looks a little like Andre the Giant taking on a midget wrestler. It has all the makings of a rout with the Americans adding an eighth win in nine outings of this biennial event. The Yanks have eight players in the top 15 in the world while the Internationals have just one. Every golfer wearing a U.S. uniform is inside the top 30 while only six of the Rest Of The Worlders are there. The International team also has seven first timers while only one American golfer – Jordan Spieth – hasnt been on either a Ryder or Presidents Cup team. Maybe its finally time to bring in the handicap system to professional golf. You know, put some saddle bags on Tiger Woods or perhaps let the Internationals play it forward. "I mean, I understand that and how it looks on paper," said Adam Scott, the highest-ranked International player. "Its hard to write off guys who are the Top 60 in the world, because on any given day, anyone can beat anyone and weve seen that a million times, especially in 18-hole match play. Yeah, I see how that looks. I also see seven guys here for the first time pumped up and ready to go, and I think thats giving me a great feeling about a new experience in The Presidents Cup after having a run of really, some big defeats. The atmosphere in our room is great this year." The Americans can, in some ways, sympathize. They have been regular punching bags of the Europeans at the Ryder Cup of late, including a humiliating Sunday loss last year in Chicago. But theyre not about to roll over just so this tournament can get some legs. "Regardless of what past results have been," said Phil Mickelson, "its a tournament we very much want to win, we very much want to play well in, and we want to represent the United States with class and pride in a way that everybody can be proud. Nick Fairley Camo Jersey. So we want to play well, and past performance has nothing to do with it." "I think everybody on our team realizes weve got a tough test in front of us," said Brandt Snedeker, who will partner with Hunter Mahan to take on Canadas Graham DeLaet and Jason Day. "I think we realize all these guys except for probably Matsuyama is probably the guy we know the least about. The rest of the guys we play on a regular basis. We see them a lot and realize how good theyre playing, and these guys are by no means the underdogs theyre trying to make themselves out to be." Captain Nick Price isnt as worried about winning the Cup as he is in making it close, something that hasnt happened lately. Of course hed like to win and to do that, hell need to find a way to keep things from getting out of reach before the Sunday singles.  "I think more important than anything else, this Presidents Cup needs to be very competitive," said Price. "Because in the past, the last four Presidents Cups, you can argue either way, but I honestly believe they have not been that competitive." Not competitive? The Internationals havent just been losing, theyve been getting hammered. Since they tied in South Africa in 2003, theyve lost by three points, five points, five points and four points. Not exactly nail-biting stuff. For the Internationals to make a game of this, theyll need to rely on the naivety of their rookies who, as Graham DeLaet pointed out this week, dont know what they dont know, and some exceptional play from the veterans such as Scott and Ernie Els. You never say never in a game like golf, but certainly this would be an upset of monumental proportions. While the odds may be long, the upside of a win would be ever-so sweet. In sports, theres nothing like kicking a little U.S. butt. ' ' '