Michael Phelps Announces He Will Retire After 2016 Rio Olympics
Michael Phelps has indicated all along that the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro would be his last, and he confirmed as much Friday night after he ended his individual career with a silver medal in the men’s 100-meter butterfly.
“I’m ready to retire, and I’m happy about it,” Phelps said, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan. “I’m in a better state of mind this time than I was four years ago.”
Phelps earned his 22nd gold medal Thursday night when he bested fellow American Ryan Lochte in the men’s 200-meter individual medley, and his compatriot hinted Friday morning that the most decorated Olympian in history could be destined for a return to the pool in 2020.
“I guarantee he will be there,” Lochte said on NBC’s Today show, according to USA Today’s A.J. Perez. “I think so. I really think so. So Michael, I’ll see you in Tokyo.”
However, Phelps squashed that speculation Friday after he finished in a three-way tie for silver with South Africa’s Chad le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh behind the triumphant 21-year-old Joseph Schooling of Singapore.
“And I’ll clarify, Ryan (Lochte) doesn’t know what he’s talking about; I’m not coming back in 2020,” Phelps said, per Team USA’s Nick McCarvel. “I saw that today and I thought, ‘Oh, thanks Ryan! Throwing me out there for another four years.’ If he wants to come back for another four years, it will be fun to watch.”
Although Phelps was forced to settle for silver—his 27th Olympic medal—Friday night, he didn’t sound particularly disappointed by the 51.14-second swim.