Michael Phelps has been adamant that he is retiring from competitive swimming after the London Games. Phelps goes out with a record 22 medals and is recognized as one of the best Olympians of all time. Many have speculated that the decorated swimmer will miss the competition and return to the pool, but he says otherwise.
Phelps talked with NBC's Bob Costas on Saturday about his post-Olympics plans.
"No, I'm done," Phelps answered when asked if he would consider a comeback. "There are other things that I can do. Sure, I am very competitive in everything that I do. I'm not a very good golfer, so if I have a goal of dropping X amount of shots, or working on my short game or putting, those things are going to keep me motivated and fire me up and excite me.
"I think will be able to shift that competitiveness to anything I put my mind to," he said.
Not only does Phelps believe golf will satiate his need for competition, but he also has plans to dive with sharks after the Games.
"I've always wanted to dive with great whites," said Phelps. "Sharks are one of my favorite animals in the world. A buddy of mine went (diving with sharks) in South Africa and he said that it was awesome.
"That's something I've always wanted to do, and Chad (Le Clos) and I were talking, and Chad said 'why don't you come to South Africa?' So I said 'let's dive with great whites together.' And he said 'OK, let's set it up.'
"Hopefully we'll be able to keep in touch and I'll be able to get down there sometime this year and we can go out and dive."
Phelps seems completely at peace with his decision to retire. He reflected on his career with confidence.
"I can look back on my career and hang my suit up and say 'I've done everything I wanted to do.' And that is the only thing I wanted to be able to say when I retire."
How many of us wish we could say the same thing? Not only is Phelps an inspiration, but he's also becoming a model for going out on top.
Photo Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY