Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps Shows He Still Has It

Posted by Alan on 24th May 2014

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Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps Shows He Still Has It

In his first swim competition since the 100-meter butterfly at the 2012 London Olympics, Michael Phelps proved he still he has what it takes after finishing fifth (world rankings, FYI) at the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Arizona.

I felt like a kid, being able to race again and be back at a meet. I literally feel like a 10-year-old kid, just enjoying it. I was excited to get in the water yesterday. I probably came up to the blocks a little early, a little too excited. A new experience again for me but I like it ,” said Phelps after finishing fifth in his first competition swim since the Olympics.

Over 1,200 spectators packed into the Mesa's Skyline Aquatic Center to watch Phelps' return, selling out the otherwise small venue. Phelps had initially told reporters that he was retiring from competitive swimming after his swim at the 2012 Olympics but it looks like the 28-year-old star has since changed his mind. Swimming enthusiasts from across the country gathered at the Skyline Aquatic Center to watch the young star return to the sport, greeting him with roaring praise.

To say spectators were on the edge of their seats in the moments before Phelps' first heat swim would be an understatement. There was a noticeable sense of anxiety and tension as the sellout crowd of 1,200 eagerly awaited for Phelps' return. Upon hitting the water, though, it was apparent that Phelps still possessed the cool, controlled style that catapulted him into the Olympic record books.

Although he made some technical errors, Phelps was still able to finish fourth in the qualifying rounds. With a time of 54.79 seconds for the 100-meter butterfly, he far surpassed the minimum time required to compete in the upcoming U.S. national championships later this summer.If Phelps has a strong performance at the national championships, he could win a spot on Team America for the 2015 world championships.

Phelps' former swim mate, Ryan Lochte, also competed in the event, finishing second in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 51.93 seconds.

Will Phelps return for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics? He hasn't explicitly addressed this question but all of the signs are pointing to the young star's return. Phelps reiterated that while he enjoys swimming, he has goals in mind. Whether these goals are to compete in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics, however, is yet to be determined.