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Emotions Stir Michael Phelps Return to US Trial

Omaha, Nebraska – In June of the Olympic year, Michael Phelps feels it. In his mind and body.

Except for the best Olympic athlete ever, he retired for five years.

Stepping into these trials, watching the swirling spotlights, cheering fans on the stands, and introducing the newly created members of the US team, the platform stirs up 23 gold medalists. It is the first exam he has not competed with since 1996.

“Physically, I’m almost ready,” Phelps said on Monday night. “Put me in there and let me do a time trial or something. This is all I know and all I really understand.”

But no, he isn’t thinking of a comeback.

Phelps, who turns 36 at the end of June, is cheering on his former teammates in Omaha to see a new generation idolizing his growth. His wife Nicole and the oldest of his three sons, the five-year-old Boomer, joined him.

Living in Arizona and raising a family occupies most of Phelps’ time. He rarely attends competitions anymore, so he was surprised to return to the biggest sport in the United States.

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“I say a lot of things have been fired in me. That really excited me,” he said. “Probably more emotional than I thought.”

By walking behind the scenes, Phelps recalls the rigorous routines he followed through the five Olympics and years of training.

“It’s fun to have to feel the pressure rising to the block without dealing with those nerves,” he said. “After warming up and warming down, lactic acid (acid) test, massage. I don’t miss it, not at all.”

Phelps said his greatest success was the combination of the medals he won and the boost he gave to his swimming profile.

“It’s still really strange to see,” he said, referring to the 28 medals that made him the most decorated Olympic athlete in history. “It’s great to travel that memorable path.”

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Emotions Stir Michael Phelps Return to US Trial

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