Michael Phelps, the 14-time gold medalist swimmer, is in town. It's the last time he will swim in Charlotte, he said Thursday -- Phelps reiterated that he plans to retire after the London Olympics this summer.
"this is the last time I’ll swim in this pool," Phelps said Thursday. "Definitely played a big role in my career -- I’ve had a lot of great swims here. Sort of closing another chapter. Something that’s very special."
Phelps' mother and sister will come down from the Baltimore area, where the family lives, for the weekend Charlotte UltraSwim meet. His mother said in a "60 Minutes" piece on Phelps that ran Sunday that she would like him to stick around and swim in the 2016 Olympics, but the 26-year-old swimmer said that's not happening and so did his longtime coach, Bob Bowman.
"Enough is enough," Bowman said.
Phelps will only swim two events in Charlotte -- the 200-meter freestyle on Friday and the 200 butterfly on Saturday. (Both those nights are sold out). He will miss the final day of the meet, on Sunday, because he is due in Dallas to speak to several hundred media types at the U.S. Olympic Media Summit.
It's a fairly light schedule for Phelps, who has swum in Charlotte for each of the past three years. His record at the UltraSwim has been very good, but nothing like his perfect 8-events-8-gold-medal run in Beijing in 2008.
In 13 events at the UltraSwim over the past three years, Phelps has had six first-place finishes, four second-place finishes, one sixth-place finish and two events that he has withdrawn from after the morning preliminary swims. So in terms of wins per event entered, he's actually slightly less than 50 percent in Charlotte from 2009-2011 (six-for-13).
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