He said he wouldn't come back to the Olympics again after he won in London back in 2012, but now, Michael Phelps appears to have decided that Rio will officially be his last Olympic showing, making his participation in the Men's 4x100 medley relay the last race of his career overall.
Phelps previously said after winning his 18th gold medal in London in 2012 that he was going to retire, but changed his mind and came back for the games in Rio this year, where he has so far gone on to up his count to 22 gold medals overall, with the 23rd at stake during tonight's relay. However, he has also said that Ryan Lochte's comments that they would both be swimming together again during the 2020 games in Tokyo, Japan, were wrong, and that this will be the last time he appears.
" I will just clarify that Ryan doesn't know what he is talking about," Phelps said after tying for second in the men's 100-meter butterfly with Laszlo Cseh of Hungary and Chad Le Clos of South Africa behind gold medal winner Joseph Schooling of Singapore. "I am not coming back in four years."
"I have two laps left in my career so I am happy and I'm excited and looking forward to tomorrow. I saw (what Lochte said) and I was like 'thanks Ryan, throw me back out there for another four years.' If he wants to come back it will be great."
He said he would attend the games in Tokyo in four years, but only as a spectator.
If he does truly plan to end his career after tonight's race, whether he wins the 4x100 or not, Phelps will end as the most decorated Olympian in history with the medals he has won. Since debuting in Athens in 2004, he has won 22 gold medals, 2 silver and 2 bronze.
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