Why stop now? Ryan Lochte predicts that his good friend and U.S. swimming teammate Michael Phelps will be back to compete in the 2020 Olympics, despite Phelps’ claims that Rio is his last time at the games.
“I guarantee he will be there. I think so – I really think so,” Lochte, 32, said during an interview with the Today show’s Matt Lauer on Friday, August 12.
Looking into the camera, he added: “Michael, I’ll see you in Tokyo.”
Phelps’ mom, Debbie, would be in his corner if he did return. “That would be wonderful,” she told Lauer later in the show. “I already have the race picked out.”
Phelps, 31, previously retired following the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The decision didn’t stick, though, and he started practicing and working out for Rio in 2014.
“I think he’s just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes,” his longtime coach, Bob Bowman, told ESPN in April 2014. “He’s in enough shape to swim competitively.”
Lochte might want his buddy to race again, but Phelps has other plans. “This is my last, hopefully, pre-Olympic swim,” he told an NBC reporter last Thursday. When asked if he’s really done for good, he added, “This is it. I’m swimming how I want to and this is a great way to finish.”