TODAY

TODAY   |  April 15, 2014

Michael Phelps coming out of retirement

After he became the most decorated Olympian ever, swimmer Michael Phelps swore he’d never compete again. But now he’s signed up to compete in a swim meet in 10 days, his first competition in two years.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> swimming legend michael phelps . it's really making a splash around the world.

>> it really is. you have a way with puns. people talking about michael phelps may be coming back for the summer olympics in rio in 2016 . for the first time in two years, he signed up to compete in a swim meet, so in ten days, we're going to see michael phelps back in the pool.

>> you're looking at the greatest olympian of all time.

>> and here comes phelps to the wall!

>> his accomplishments have made him an international superstar .

>> whoo!

>> the london games put him on top with a staggering 22 medals collected over three olympics. he swore that was it.

>> i'm done. i'm finished. i'm retired. i'm done. no more.

>> you say it so definitively. i trust rowdy gaines and mark spitz and they both say you're going to get bored of not swimming, and in a couple of years, you're going to need a real outlet for your competitive juices and you're going to do it again.

>> i mean, the biggest thing is i can look back at my career and say i've done everything exactly the way i wanted to. and if you can say that, i'm happy.

>> phelps has spent his retirement running swimming schools. he started a foundation. and he's played a lot of golf.

>> how's retirement going?

>> i'm living out of a suitcase, using a golf club a lot, and just traveling the world.

>> but now, phelps is hitting the pool again.

>> you know, life changes. feelings change. he feels like he can be out there with them and competing against them and beating them. i haven't talked to him. i have no idea. but bottom line is he's a competitor. as cliche as that is, he's a competitor.

>> last fall, phelps began training at the same baltimore pool where we caught up with him before london. he'll compete in arizona next week, along with fellow olympic champion ryan lochte . phelps is 28 now. he once vowed to not be swimming into his 30s. his new vow may prove to be never again say never.

>> if he decides to go for rio , he will definitely win more medals. there's no question in my mind.

>> we reached out to mep's camp. they say talks of rio are premature, but he will race in arizona, see how things go, and how he feels. rowdy gaines himself said he's only 29 years old, he's a year younger than lebron james . why not keep swimming?

>> what about us playing that olympic theme music?