In a recent post, we mentioned that Olympian Michael Phelps was literally and figuratively testing the water and eyeing a possible comeback. It seems as if the swimming star is really putting his racing swimsuit back on and hopping into the pool, as he is scheduled to compete at the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Arizona, from April 24-26.
Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, confirmed the news to USA TODAY.
"As of today, I definitely expect him to swim," Bowman told the publication. "We're looking forward to it. I think it'll be great for the sport to have Michael compete again. We really don't have any expectations for what might happen. We just want to have some fun with it and see how it goes."
The athlete is entered in the 100-meter butterfly and freestyle events, and Bowman said that Phelps may compete in the 50-meter races for those strokes as well, depending on how well he does on day one.
Phelps' return to international competition is not particularly surprising, given that he has been engaging in more intense training over the past year. He also rejoined the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's drug testing pool and recently regained his eligibility for competition. The Mesa event is the first major competition that Phelps is cleared to participate in.
The late April event is likely to be a media spectacle now that Phelps will be competing. After the swimmer announced his retirement following the 2012 Olympics, many fans of the sport wondered how it would remain popular in the future. Other stars scheduled to participate in the Mesa event include Ryan Lochte and Katie Ledecky.