America’s most decorated Olympian swimmer, Michael Phelps, has announced that he will retire after the 2012 Olympics in London for the summer games, and he takes with him an accomplishment to be proud of.
With 16 total Olympic medals, he is only 2 shy of tying Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who won 18 medals, including 9 gold through three Olympic games. Phelps already holds the record for most gold medals won with 14 from the previous two games.
Phelps announced his retirement in an interview with Anderson Cooper, which aired this past Sunday on ’60 Minutes.’
Phelps explained that his mother Debbie was hoping there would be a chance he would try for the 2016 games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, mainly goes she wanted to visit the area. Phelps said, “We’ll go watch.”
He went on to say that once he is retired there is no coming back. “Once I retire, I’m retiring,” he said. “I’m done.”
Phelps told Cooper that he wasn’t sure if he was even going to be participating in the London games after taking a bit of time off after the last Olympics, and that it was hard to get back in shape, but he is now ready to go.
He added, like his mother he looks forward to visiting cities after his retirement and actually see the sites.
“I’ve been able to go to all these amazing cities in my travels, and I haven’t been able to see them at all,” Phelps said. “I see the hotel and I see the pool. That’s it. And (after the Olympics) I’m just going to go and do whatever I want to do.”