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London 2012: Will Michael Phelps Add to His Amazing 14 Gold Medals?

Yahoo Contributor Network

U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps took home eight gold medals from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, along with the six he won in Athens in 2004. He's determined to add more at the upcoming London Summer Olympics. First, he needs to qualify for the 2012 American team, so he can then attempt to increase that considerable collection of gold.

Phelps Must Qualify First In Trials

The champion swimmer could qualify for as many as seven individual and three relay events at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. They're scheduled to be held in Omaha, Nebraska, during the week of June 25 to July 2. Of course, because he has a lot of competition, the tryouts could prove to be an overwhelming challenge for Phelps. However, there's the possibility he could make the team to compete in several individual and relay events.

The Possibilities Are Amazing!

If he qualifies in all of those events, he'll have a chance to win a record 10 gold medals at the London Summer Olympic Games. Although it would be an almost superhuman feat, he could raise his Olympic total to 18 gold medals, by far the most ever won by any athlete in the history of the modern Olympic Games.

What Are The Potential Negatives?

There are some stark facts Michael Phelps must consider. He will celebrate his 27th birthday during the Omaha tryouts. That's the prime of youth for a baseball, football or basketball player, but it can be old for an Olympic swimmer to win a gold medal.

It isn't impossible, because American swimmer Dara Torres shared a gold medal win in the women's medley at age 37 in 2000. More amazing is that she has already qualified for the 2012 Olympics at age 44, and has participated in Olympics since 1992.

Most of Phelps' competitors on the American and other nations' Olympic swimming teams are from five to ten years younger. Also a motivation factor is that he has already made an official announcement that he will retire after the London Olympics.

Conclusion

Michael Phelps has already achieved record-smashing Olympic gold medal honors that any other athlete can only dream about. With his participation in the London Summer Games, he's determined to make one last effort to add to his memorable achievements. Win or lose, he'll still be an all-time great champion.

Olympic and sports fan Freddy Sherman grew up in Philadelphia and went to school with two Olympic medal winners, Kim Gallagher and David Wharton. Watching their skill and determination inspired him. You can follow Freddy on Twitter: @thefredsherman.

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