One big question that many Olympic fans have been pondering in the months leading up to the London Olympics will soon be answered: Will Michael Phelps make an effort to break his own world record of eight gold medals at a single Olympic Games? The short answer is yes. Unfortunately, it may not be that simple.
According to the psych sheet released by USA Swimming on Tuesday, Phelps will compete in seven events at next week’s trials — the 200-meter and 400-meter individaul medleys, the 100-meter and 200-meter butterflys, the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyles, and the 200-meter backstroke. Those seven events combined with the three U.S. team relay events would give Phelps a shot at 10 gold medals. However, qualifying for an event does not necessarily mean he will chose to enter it in London.
“Our typical plan is always to enter more events than he will usually swim so that we have some flexibility should something unforeseen come up,” Bob Bowman, Phelps’ coach, said on Tuesday. “Whether he swims all of those all the way through the events – like, there’s a chance he might swim some of those events in the preliminary and scratch, or whether he swims them all the way through, that still remains to be seen.”
In 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, Phelps raced in three less events than he qualified for back in the States. Bowman previously said that Phelps will only compete in events that he has a chance to win, but for those of us who have seen him swim that means pretty much nothing. If you’re holding out hope that Phelps will try to break his gold medal record this summer, just cross your fingers he only decides to scratch one event.