Michael Phelps will swim competitively next week for the first time since the London Olympics, USA Swimming announced today in a press release that is disappointingly low on laser graphics of the words “HE’S BACK” displayed over an image of Phelps wearing cool sunglasses. Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, previously told the Chicago Tribune that if all goes well the swimmer will likely attempt to qualify for the 2015 World Championships via this year’s U.S. national meet in Irvine, Calif. “If he swims a meet in the next couple months and does well, he will probably give it a shot in Irvine,” Bowman told the paper. The next Olympic Games, of course, are not until 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
Phelps turns 29 this year; the oldest American male to swim in the Olympics in the modern era was Jason Lezak, who competed in London at age 37, winning silver in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay.* Next week’s meet in Mesa, Ariz. begins on the 24th, and will be broadcast on the Universal Sports network on the 25th and 26th.
Correction, April 14, 2014: This post originally misstated that Jason Lezak was the oldest American swimmer to swim in the Olympics. He was the oldest male swimmer to accomplish this feat.