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Michael Phelps on Olympic comeback trail: Races again after 15-pound weight loss

Michael Phelps is back in killer shape and could return to competitive swimming this summer — blazing the comeback trail for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Michael Phelps may be coming out of retirement to race in 2016 Rio Olympics.
Michael Phelps may be coming out of retirement to race in 2016 Rio Olympics.
Lars Baron/Getty Images

"He's definitely got himself in pretty good shape physically," Michael's longtime coach, Bob Bowman, told USA Today. "He feels pretty good about where he is. We'll just kind of look around at some upcoming meets and maybe let him swim an event or two and see how it goes."

Phelps has been attending swimming practice five times a week at the North Baltimore Athletic Club, said Bowman.

Michael, who retired after the 2012 London Games, has been stirring speculation that he's staging a comeback for the 2016 Rio Olympics after losing 15 pounds last summer and re-entering the U.S. drug-testing program. He regained his eligibility for competition earlier this month.

Phelps, 28, began training with Bowman several months ago, combining swimming workouts with weight-lifting and core-training. The 6-foot-4 Phelps lost 15 pounds and now weighs in the low 190s, very close to his competition weight of 195 pounds. He has tested several times with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency since July 2013.

Michael has nothing to prove with a comeback, as the winningest and most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. He won 22 Olympic medals, including 18 gold medals — a feat that will remain unequaled for a long time, perhaps forever.

When he retired in 2012, Phelps said he was exhausted from the years of grueling daily training, strict dieting, and personal sacrifices he made for his storied career. But Michael has made no secret of his desire to be the undisputed G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time), not just in swimming, but in all of sports.

Phelps began swimming at age 9, in part to manage his ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). He revealed how he overcame his early struggles with his drive and unparalleled work ethic in his memoir, No Limits: The Will to Succeed.

The 2016 Rio Games would mark Michael's fifth Olympics.