Does Michael Phelps' first win since the London Olympics mean that he's planning for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics? Commentators from across the nation are still mulling over the big question, after the most decorated Olympian in history placed first in the men's 100-meter Butterfly at the Arena Grand Prix in Charlotte, N.C., last week.
According to a USA Swimming press release, "Phelps was victorious with a time of 52.13 seconds, beating Belarus’ Pavel Sankovich’s 52.72 effort and Singapore’s Joseph Schooling’s third-place time of 52.95." That time matched his second place finish from the Mesa Grand Prix, his first race back since announcing his retirement.
Phelps announced his return to the pool last month, and the speculation about whether he'll try for a fourth Olympic games started immediately. His performance at the Charlotte meet did offer one possible clue, noted Los Angeles Times blogger David Wharton. The swim cap Phelps wore read "Rio 2016."
ESPN's Jim Caple took a broader look at what Phelps' return means. "So, if you were an aspiring male swimmer, would you be excited about Phelps' return bringing so much attention to your sport in a non-Olympic year, or upset that you now might have to compete against the greatest swimmer in history for those precious, limited spots on the U.S. Olympic team," he asked.
Whether he does, or does not compete in the next Olympic games, Phelps has already secured his legacy, said Norman Chad of the Washington Post. "No matter what Phelps does from here on in, he’ll always have six gold medals and two bronze in 2004, eight gold in 2008, four gold and two silver in 2012 — all told, 18 Olympic gold and 22 medals total," Chad stated.
What do you think?