Is it any surprise that the Arena Grand Prix – which takes place Thursday, April 24 through Saturday, April 26 in Mesa, Ariz. – is sold out? Michael Phelps is swimming in his first meet since the London Games in what looks like the beginning of the comeback trail and may face off with pal and rival Ryan Lochte in the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle. Michael is also swimming in the 50 free while Ryan is entered in the 200 free, the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 200 individual medley.
There are a lot of other stars at the meet – including Nathan Adrian, Conor Dwyer and France’s Yannick Angel – but all eyes will be on Michael and, to a certain extent, the old rivalry.
For his part, Ryan has said he always knew Michael would be back. (Indeed, he predicted it when Michael announced his retirement at the London Olympics in 2012.) Ryan, who’s been busy modeling Calvin Klein with Ireland Baldwin (Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin’s daughter), credited Michael with inspiring him to keep training after a November knee injury – the result of an overenthusiastic teenage girl rushing him.
Leave it to Ryan to be injured by a girl with a crush. Hey, good luck, guys.
Check out the races on usaswimming.org.