• Olympics

Phelps refuses to rule out Rio return

ESPN staff
July 29, 2013
We may yet see Michael Phelps in an Olympic pool © PA Photos

Eighteen-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps has refused to rule out the possibility of coming out of retirement in time for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Phelps, the most successful Olympian in history after medal hauls at Athens, Beijing and London, retired from swimming in the wake of last year's Olympics - but has acknowledged that it is possible he will return to the sport in time to compete in Brazil.

"I don't know what's going to happen in the future," Phelps told the Associated Press. "I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."

He added: "I don't know. We're in 2013. There's nothing in the works right now."

Currently recovering from a minor injury to his foot, Phelps is in Barcelona to observe the Swimming World Championships and fulfil some obligations for his sponsor Speedo.

The American will be 31 by the time the Rio Games roll around, but insists he remains unsure about what he will be doing over the next phase of his life. For now, he is enjoying not having to commit to an arduous training programme.

"Peter [Carlisle, Phelps' agent] asked me where I want to be in one year, five years and 10 years," Phelps said. "I'm still in the process of putting everything down on paper."

He added: "I have no plans to do anything. I love what I'm doing now. I'm able to travel so much, play golf. I'm on my schedule. I've never been able to have that. I've never been able to do really whatever I want to do. I go wherever I want to go. I see whatever I want to see.

"It's nice waking up at 10, 11, 12 o'clock in the afternoon. I'm pretty lazy besides playing golf. I don't do much."

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