The Baltimore Bullet is back!
The Associated Press confirmed today with Bob Bowman, Phelps’ longtime coach, that the swimmer will come out of retirement to race in three events at a meet in Mesa, Ariz. on April 24-26.
The meet will mark the first time since the 2012 London Games that Phelps has competed.
“I think he’s just going to test the waters a little bit and seer how it goes,” says Bowman to AP. “I wouldn’t say it’s a full-fledged comeback.”
Bowman did note that Phelps was “pretty far” from being back in top shape for competition. He has been training at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club in Mt. Washington.
“He’s gotten back in good shape since September,” the coach said. “He can give a good effort and certainly not be embarrassed. He’s in enough shape to swim competitively.”
Phelps has also entered meets in Charlotte, N.C. in May and Santa Clara, Calif. in June, but no decision has been made to whether he will actually compete.
Readers of Baltimore might have seen this coming. In January, we ran a Cameo with Phelps’s sister, Hilary, in which she intimated that her younger brother might not be ready to hang up his Speedo for good.
“He’s back in the drug pool, meaning he’s back registered in the USADA drug-testing pool, so I think he’s just keeping his options open,” she said at the time, adding teasingly, “Maybe he will, maybe he won’t.”
Today we got our answer.