Phelps back in swim of things!
Michael Phelps - one of my favorite subjects - is in the news again.
With this week's U.S. National Championships upcoming, Michael is facing his biggest month of the year.
Sportswriters in the field will probably agree with Michael that the challenge for the gold medalist may be more mental than physical - as he gets ready to dive into the pool again - especially in view of a relatively poor performance in Paris about a month ago.
Critics took pot shots on that occasion, in fact.
"Phelps appeared to struggle in his heats and appeared off form."
When the five-day Nationals start-up today, there will be a lot at stake across the board.
The handsome swimmer's busiest day will be his first, when he competes in two events on Wednesday.
Phelps is scheduled to swim five events in total in Irvine which include the 200-meter freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 fly, 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke.
Just recently the studly athlete acknowledged that it was frustrating not being in tip-top-shape, or where if felt right to be, in the scheme of things.
The advantage to that?
"You know what you need to do to get back and you know what you need to change."
Michael believes that he is fully motivated right now - and hence - hints that he expects to fair well in the week ahead.
There has been some scuttlebutt about Michael's new freestyle stroke which some observers on the sidelines in Paris felt was flawed because both timing and stroke were off.
In spite of that criticism, Phelps is confident that he can actually place well in the event.
Will what Michael suits up in matter?
The swimmers return to textile suits, after all.
Gone are the neck-to-ankle suits made of polyurethane materials that revolutionized the sport (which are now banned).
The suit controversy reached a peak at last year's world championships in Rome when 43 world records were set.
At the start of this year, FINA passed new rules on how much skin could be covered and what fabrics could be used.
Male swimmers are only allowed to wear waist-to-knee "jammers," while women must wear shoulder-to-knee suits made of textile materials only.
Michael need not worry.
He could charm the Officials into allowing him to sport his birthday suit.
And fans would be cheering ringside, nonetheless!