Rumors sometimes carry negative connotations, but not when we are dreaming about our decorated athletes returning to the competition pool after retiring or a short lived hiatus. So here we go, Rio is just around the corner and we would love to see some of our favorites make the trip.
Rumors have reached ‘beating a dead horse’ status, but everyone would love to see him return to the pool. A full schedule of events is unlikely, but relays and a modified run of events are solid possibilities. Seeing Phelps return to peak condition in events like the 400 IM and 200 Fly may be a stretch for a man who is a few years older and less committed to training towards his past favorite events, but the potential for comeback success is undeniable.
It would not be a stretch for Phelps to make the US team as a relay-only swimmer. By competing in the 100 Fly, 100 and 200 Free at the US Trials, he could potentially be a member on all three Olympic relays. And with strength of the US Olympic Swim Team program, he could add at least three more medals to his already heroic haul (in relays around mind you).
Should he compete individually, speculation stands to reason he may favor shorter events. The 100 Fly and 100 Free, as mentioned above, are possibilities. What about the 200 IM or even a 100 Back? The combinations of swims he could excel in are numerous, but all we have is a rumors and Michael’s circumspection.
Brooke Bennett is a three time Olympic gold medalist from two Olympic games. She braved the comeback trail once before (post shoulder surgery) in the 2004, narrowly missing the team in her signature race, the 800 Free.
This time around, Bennett is taking a different approach. Training with Randy Reese at Clearwater in Florida, Bennett is hoping to make the Olympic team in open water competition. Training alongside a young Becca Mann, who already has experienced open water success, the pair are likely to be highly competitive at Trials.
Katie Hoff is an amazing young woman with talent and tenacity both in and out of the water. We last saw her compete in the 2012 Trials, and now she seems to be making a push towards being competitive once more. Swimming in a late November 2013 meet in Florida, Hoff posted a solid time in the 200 Free (1:45.93).
Rooting for Hoff is a no-brainer. Who couldn’t relate with a likable young woman trying to achieve her goals.
Then there is Dagny Knutson. Her path has been a battle scarred one, but like Hoff she has a strong backing of fans who wish her the best in the water and out. Whether or not Knutson will be making a return to the pool is completely up in the air. She has not been competing and has simply been focusing on getting her life back on track.
Comebacks are a tricky thing, but they have been and will continue to be done successfully. When I hear the word comeback, Dara Torres always comes to mind. She is likely one of the biggest comeback success stories, and at the age of 41! Torres is a 12 time Olympic medalist spanning the 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2008 Olympics.
As we get closer to Olympic Trials, our support and best wishes go out to all competitors- rookies and veterans alike!
Who would you like to see make a comeback? Let me know what you think.
See you at the pool – be it Oympic or otherwise!