Connect to share and comment

A global sports blog.

Michael Phelps retiring after London Olympics

Michael Phelps will be swimming his last lap at the London Olympics.
MichaelphelpslondonEnlarge
Michael Phelps of the United States poses with his gold medal in the Men's 100m Butterfly Final during Day Fifteen of the 14th FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Center on July 30, 2011 in Shanghai, China. (Clive Rose/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Phelps will be swimming his last lap at the London Olympics. 

Phelps, who is the most highly decorated Olympic swimmer of all time, told Anderson Cooper in an interview for 60 minutes he is ready to go for the gold this summer, but once he hits the final wall, it is all over. 

"Once I retire, I'm retiring. I'm done," Phelps said. 

More from GlobalPost: London's black cab drivers boycott the 2012 Olympics

According to USA Today, The 26-year-old won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games, giving him 16 total Olympic medals in his career. If Phelps walks home with three metals from this summer's games, he will retire as the athlete with the most Olympic career medals. Phelps could also replace the metal he lost after the Beijing Olympics. He keeps the 2008 gold medals wrapped in an old T-shirt tucked inside a small case, according to USA Today, and lost one while traveling.

Bob Bowman, Phelps' coach, told CNN after Phelps went through a wild streak, being photographed by the paparazzi smoking marijuana and partying with college students, he wasn't sure he would make it to the London games. 

"I thought it was a 50-50," Bowman said. "I really didn't have a feel for whether he would come back or not come back."

Phelps expressed to Cooper how he also didn't know if he could make a comeback. "It was hard, because I didn't know if the passion or the fire was still inside of me."

USA Today noted his mother, Debbie Phelps, pushed her son to compete one last time in the 2018 Brazilian summer Olympics, but he declined. After the London Olympics, Phelps is just looking to live like a regular guy. 

More from GlobalPost: McDonald's London Olympics sponsorship under fire from UK doctors

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/world-at-play/michael-phelps-retiring-after-london-olympics