London Olympics 2012: the return of Michael Phelps


Michael Phelps swimming his way to victory in the 2008 Olympics

Melanie Sheehan, Staff Writer

After four long years, the world’s attention will again be focused on a sport that is otherwise often ignored: swimming. A major reason? Michael Phelps, four years after breaking Mark Spitz’s record by winning eight gold medals, will return to the Olympic pool, this time in London.

However, the spotlight will not shine as brightly on the twenty six year-old this year, as he will not compete in eight events and therefore will not be able to match his previous accomplishment, according to the Los Angeles Times, which added that Phelps likely would not swim the 400 meter individual medley.

Phelps will also have difficult competition in the 200 meter individual medley and the 200 meter freestyle events, according to Sports Illustrated. Although Phelps won both events in the Beijing Olympics, teammate Ryan Lochte won both events at this year’s world championships. The Olympic races are sure to be exciting as the two swimmers vie for the gold medal.

Swimmers around the nation, including right here in Massapequa, are looking forward to watching Phelps and the other Olympic swimmers this summer for both inspiration and insight into proper stroke technique.

Varsity swimmer Corinne Lizzio had the privilege of attending the 2003 World Cup of Swimming, which was held at Eisenhower Park. There, she saw Phelps compete and even met some of the other swimmers, including Olympians Natalie Coughlin and Katie Hoff. “From watching them, particularly Katie Hoff, I realized that regular people can be Olympians too,” Lizzio said. “It is impossible to just decide not to train, and expect to do well. Hard work pays off.”

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