CHARLOTTE, NC - Swimming's biggest star, Michael Phelps, returns to the pool this weekend at the Charlotte UltraSwim. It's bittersweet for Phelps. This is last time he's taking part in the Grand Prix event at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center as he prepares to retire from the sport after London 2012.
Phelps scored a record eight gold medals in the 2008 Olympic Games and now has 171,000 Twitter followers. While that's not a measurement of fame, it would be hard to find any other swimmer that could top that. He's well aware how special his career has been.
“This is the last time I’ll swim in this pool and it’s definitely played a big role in my career and I’ve had a lot of great swims here. So just sort of closing out another page and closing another chapter is something that’s very special,” Phelps said.
Even as he walks away from the stage, his fellow competitors say his accomplishments will not be forgotten.
“He’s the face of the Olympics. He’s the reason people paid attention to the rest of us, because Michael went after the eight," said Cullen Jones. "Granted, he never said he was going after eight gold medals. He went and did it.”
Phelps, as well as a number of other Olympians, will compete at the UltraSwim this weekend. He's not running a full schedule this year as he rests up for the Olympic trials. His first event will take place on Friday.
Watch the full, raw interview with Michael Phelps
TWC News: Phelps competes in UltraSwim as retirement looms
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