The most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps told Today show host Matt Lauer on Monday that he has competed in his last Olympic race ever. Despite making the same claim after the 2012 London Olympics, the 31-year-old swimmer maintains that he actually means it this time.
"Done, done, done - and this time I mean it," Phelps stated during a live interview. "I wanted to come back and finish my career how I wanted and this was the cherry on top of the cake."
Phelps will be going back home from the Rio Olympics with five gold medals along with one silver medal. His performance in the 2016 Olympics cemented Phelps as the greatest swimmer of all time as he has now won 28 medals (23 gold) throughout his spectacular career.
If you think that sounds like a ridiculously high number of medals, then check this out. The Today show tweeted a comment from Matt Lauer where he mentioned, "If Michael Phelps was a country by himself, he'd have more gold medals overall than all but 32 of the 205 countries competing."
The capstone to Phelps' historic performance in Rio was when he won the gold medal for the 400-meter medley relay. Because this was his last Olympics, Phelps admitted that he tried to truly take in the moment this time around.
"Between now and London, I was so much more emotional during these Games, I think that showed at times on camera," Phelps stated. "That's the difference. Because I knew this was the last time. I knew this was the last race that I ever had, the last Olympics that I ever had. And everything just really hit hard."
Do you think Michael Phelps is really retiring or do you think he will make one more triumphant return in the 2020 Olympics?
[H/T Today Show]