Michael Phelps will take his last lap at this summer's London Olympics, but his legacy -- and his sculpted body -- will be far from forgotten.
At 6-foot-4, the 16-time medalist has gone from a skinny mini teen to a statuesque grown man. "It's the whole package: the Speedo, the goggles, the cap. It makes me feel like a superhero!" he tells Us Weekly of his most recognized uniform.
Since bringing home a whopping eight gold medals at the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008, Phelps has had his fare share of non-swimming headline-making moments. In early 2009, he was suspended from competitive swimming after being caught smoking marijuana -- a moment he tells Us Weekly was "the lowest point in my career."
"After 2008, I knew deep down inside I wanted to [swim], but I just didn't want to put in the work," the 27-year-old athlete tells Us of his party fouls while living the high life. "There were times when I just wouldn't come to practice and it didn't excite me."
But this time around, Phelps is in it to win it -- if not on the boards, then for his own personal goals.
"Once I hang my suit up I want to be able to look back and say I've done everything I can in my career -- whether that's having fifty gold medals or having sixteen total medals," the Baltimore, Maryland native tells Us. "If I can say I've done everything I've wanted, I think that's really all that matters."
Want more Olympics? Meet Team USA's families, go inside their homes (and gyms!), and more! Check out Us Weekly's Olympic collectors edition, "American Heroes," on newsstands now. Order at bn.com/usolympics.