Rio de Janeiro, Aug 15 (IANS) Swimmer Michael Phelps has said that his success at the Rio Olympics ensured he could retire without any regrets, even as he ruled out a return to competition.
The 31-year-old American won five more Olympic titles in Rio, extending his record as the greatest Olympian of all time to 23 gold, three silver and two bronze medals, reports Xinhua.
“This is what I wanted to finish my career. This is the cherry that I wanted to put on the top of the cake,” Phelps told a press conference on Sunday.
Phelps announced his retirement after the London 2012 Games but returned to the sport two years ago, citing unfinished business.
The American praised his partner, Nicole Johnson, for helping him to recover from bouts of depression and alcohol abuse.
He said his recovery was completed in May with the birth of his son, Boomer.
“I am proud of the work I have put in over the last two-plus years to be able to get back to where I am today,” Phelps said.
“This is the way I wanted to hang my suit up. I am very happy I came back. If I hadn’t had come back, I wouldn’t have know what to do with myself and would have been frustrated with myself for not giving myself a chance. I’m in the best place possible with everything that’s going on in my life.”
Phelps added that there was no chance he could be coaxed out of retirement for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“When I decided to come back I wanted to do it the right way,” he said. “I wanted to challenge myself and see how much more I could do. I don’t have anything that’s left. This is it. This is the last time you’ll ever see me racing in the water.”