Olympics’ great Michael Phelps hints on retiring from international competition to give way to a new breed of swimmers. Phelps looks at Singapore’s Joseph Schooling as his possible successor after the kid’s performance in the recent Rio Olympics.
Phelps stated that Rio is his last Olympics after hauling five gold medals and one silver. Overall, Phelps leaves a legacy in the sport of swimming, especially setting the bars for excellence. As an Olympian, Phelps manages to win 25 medals with 23 of them gold.
How Phelps wanted to end his Olympic career
Phelps narrates to Sports Illustrated that he wanted to make his last Olympic stint a memorable one. During the final lap of his 100-meter butterfly event, Phelps thought of walking away with a perfect six gold medals finish. But fate decided otherwise, which he was totally okay with.
“I’m coming into my last four or five strokes, and I remember thinking. Whatever happens, this is how it’s supposed to end,” Phelps said. “Maybe I’m going six-for-six and that’s perfect, or maybe Joe is going to hang on and I’m okay with that. That’s when I knew I was ready to retire. Any other time, I would have been livid about finishing second.”
Phelps ended his Olympic stint winning the gold medal in the 4×100 meter medley relay. He capped his performance along with Ryan Murphy, Cody Miller, and Nathan Adrian finishing in style setting new Olympic records. Aside from naming his as one of the greatest Olympians of all time, Phelps also set a new record. That includes “winning multiple gold medals at age 31.”
— SI Olympics (@si_olympics) December 20, 2016
Schooling Ready to take on the challenge
Winning his first gold medal in Rio, Singapore’s pride Joseph Schooling is already setting new goals for himself. Schooling tells Channel Asia he is ready to break the record set by his childhood idol in the 100-meter butterfly. The 21-year old swimmer aims to start writing his own history with the World Masters Championship in Budapest.
“I’m going to try to break the world record over there – that’s definitely one of my goals,” Schooling explained. “My weight program has been the same. But as far as dry land, we’ve changed a couple of things. Last year, I did a distance workout circuit. This year, we have subbed part of that circuit for rowing – we do a couple of sets of that.”
Schooling clocked 50.39 seconds in Rio beating Phelps. He hopes to break Phelps’ record in the event which stands at 49.82 seconds. Schooling works with Coach Eddie Reese at the University of Texas, as a member of the Longhorn’s swim team.
Phelps knew “all good things must end,” and for him, Rio Olympics was the perfect time for it to end. He knows that the sport is in good hands of the young breed of swimmers, like Schooling. Phelps knows the sport will thrive with upcoming swimmers out to break what he has already established.
Photo Courtesy: Linus Egger/Flickr
Video Courtesy: WHATEVER/YouTube