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2012 Summer Olympics -- A different Michael Phelps this time around - ESPN


Stashed in: Olympics!, About The Olympics 2012 London Games

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Phelps has said repeatedly that the London Games will mark the end of his career. But Hansen insisted the same thing after Beijing. Now here he is. Could he envision a scenario in which Phelps changes his mind in two to three years?

"I don't see it," Hansen said.

The reason? Although Hansen came back in pursuit of an elusive gold medal, Phelps already has enough Olympic hardware to start a jewelry store. His status as the greatest swimmer of all time is likely cemented after his eight-gold-medal performance in Beijing.

"I'm surprised he's even here," Hansen said.

And that's when the U.S. captain went on a tangent, shaking his head in frustration at the thought that Phelps could potentially win six gold medals in London and American sports fans could consider that a disappointment.

"I'm telling you right now, that shouldn't be done," Hansen said. "Just be glad that he is here with a suit on and not a three-piece suit in the stands. Just be glad he's on the blocks. I hope they aren't like, 'What the heck? He didn't win two more?' That's just not the mentality we should have toward a great athlete like that. But that's our mentality as a culture."

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Met him once. Seems like a genuinely nice guy. I hope he does well and people appreciate his achievements.

The 200 freestyle was the second-most worrisome final of Spitz’s seven. No. 1 was the 100 freestyle, in which another American, Jerry Heidenreich, loomed as a contender.

Heidenreich never seemed to like Spitz. And Heidenreich’s father, even more than Spitz’s father, goaded his son to win and derided him when he did not.

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