Mark my words, Michael Phelps will be back in four. How do I know this? I watched his performances and his interviews very closely and noticed a very strong dichotomy with a perceptible slant.
“I am happiest when I’m in the water competing.” “In 2008 and 2012 I was just going through the motions, this time I was involved.” “This was the first time I have ever participated in an opening ceremony. It didn’t ever occur to me that I would be nominated.” “This was the first time I was voted team captain.” “I really enjoyed myself.” “Mom said, ‘How about a 100 Fly and a Relay or two in Tokyo'”. “Boomer got to see me this time. He didn’t understand, but we will explain it to him when he grows up.” Remember the up-shot of the four Gold Medal medley relay swimmers with their arms around each other chanting “Four more years”.
Conversely, “This is how I want to end it.” “I’m looking forward to a next leg of the journey (never once elaborating on what that leg was).” “This is how I want to remember it.”
Okay then. Here is an obviously wildly successful player in the Olympic Arena. He has a net worth of $55 Million which will probably double with his 2016 performance. He has a new life, and a new family. New reasons to move on, or new reasons to continue on. 31 is the new 21. Boomer needs to understand what he is looking at when he sees all those bubbles in the water. Mom and fiancé are already booking rooms in Tokyo. He ran away with the 2016 wins, only one win was close.
Mark my words. Michael will compete in 2020. It may not be 5 Golds and a Silver, but it could easily be 3 Golds. Michael, take six months off. Rest, relax, get married, cuddle the boy and then get back into the saddle and ride into the (23, 24, 25, ?) Golden (Medal) Sunset. Mark my words.