American swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, said he hopes this year's Rio Olympics will be a fitting end to his gilded career. Phelps will be 31 during the Rio Games and has committed himself to one last run at Olympic glory after having announced his retirement at the 2012 London Olympics.
Now though Phelps has confirmed his comeback: "I think deep down inside I always wanted to come back. I always wanted to swim and make this my last Olympics. You know, going into London I was just kind of over it. I had no motivation. I needed time away from everything, from the sport, from my family, from my friends, from every single part of my life, to be able to just sit down and think about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go, and who I am, really," he said.
Phelps, who said he had failed to give his best efforts at the London Games due to sub-par preparation despite winning four gold and two silver medals in 2012, is determined to be at his best at the Rio Games and has special motivation. The swimmer, who has a record 22 Olympic medals, of which 18 are gold, also shrugged off concerns about the Zika virus and other health and pollution worries surrounding the Rio Games and said his wife planned to travel to Brazil with their new-born son, expected to be born in May, to watch him swim.
"Everything has been a dream come true and if you ask me 'if I would change anything in my life, would I?' I would say 'no'. I've been through some good ups and I've been through some really bad downs, but you know, it's what's come from those experiences – both ways – I think has made me who I am today and that's something I'm very proud of," he added.
He was appearing at the Under Armour complex to promote his newest TV commercial for the sports apparel company.