Phelps coy on London finale
15 May 2012, 14:37
London - Michael Phelps is adamant that the London Olympics will be his
last, but the US swimming icon is keeping the details of his grand
finale to himself for now.
"Why is it such a big deal what I'm
swimming," Phelps asked on Sunday, when he was yet again quizzed as to
just which events he plans to swim at the US Olympic trials and in
Phelps, of course, has excelled in a broad range, winning
an unprecedented eight golds in one Games at Beijing to take his tally
to 16 Olympic medals overall, 14 of them gold.
Phelps then said
he was just kidding - but still declined to offer any clues to the
reporters assembled for the US Olympic Committee's pre-London Olympic
Coach Bob Bowman said the secrecy keeps the opposition on their toes, and saves the need for explanations if their plans change.
a multiple medal performance in London, Phelps could surpass Soviet
gymnast Larisa Latynina as the winner of most career Olympic medals. She
won 18 medals, including nine golds, from 1956-64.
Phelps said he had a chance to meet the gymnastics icon at a photo shoot in New York.
language barrier was a little tough, but she had a translator. It was
an honour to meet somebody's who is such a legend and an icon especially
in the Olympic movement," he said. "It was definitely pretty cool."
meetings are one of the perks of stardom. Phelps acknowledges he has
enjoyed many of them, but fame also meant his post-Beijing doldrums have
Phelps says it was his own lack of dedication
that led to some sub-par performances, although he hopes he has now
gained enough ground to be a force in his Olympic farewell.
biggest thing right now is being able to make steps in the right
direction. The last three years my motivation hasn't been too great.
It's an exciting time and this is going to be a fun summer.
"I've been able to get an excitement back in the water."
Phelps says he doesn't worry that whatever he does in London will inevitably be compared to his spectacular Beijing performance.
into this year I have goals that I want to accomplish," Phelps said. "I
know it won't be eight medals again. If you want to compare me to that
that's your decision, not mine. I'm going out there to try to accomplish
the things that I have in my mind and in my heart.
"If I can do that and I can have fun then that's all that really matters to me."
course, winning is more fun than losing, something that came home to
Phelps as he saw US team-mate Ryan Lochte go from strength to strength
last season, often at Phelps's expense.
"It wasn't fun," Phelps
said. "Obviously I put myself in that spot, I put myself in the spot to
not swim the times I want. He was just kind of rolling over me. It
wasn't fun to be on that end. It was something that was very motivating