After the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, Michael Phelps emerged as the greatest American swimming star since Mark Spitz and one of the greatest Olympians of all-time.
Phelps took home eight gold medals during the 2008 games, passing Spitz's record of seven set during the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
Phelps achieved worldwide fame and recognition for his historic 2008 run, and now, at 27-years-old and in what will be his final appearance in the Olympics, the Baltimore, Md. native is much wiser and more prepared than he's ever been, especially when it comes to his newest rival in the pool, Ryan Lochte, according to a wonderfully written story appearing in the Chicago-Tribune:
Lochte is coming off of a series of wins in international competitions over Phelps, who admittedly lost his focus and drive in the wake of the Beijing Games. But Phelps bested him at the trials, beating him in all but one final, making their two rematches in London, in the 400 and 200 IMs, can't-miss events.