Holding His Breath
There's one race Michael Phelps really wants to swim at the London Olympics: a 200 freestyle final that includes Australia's five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe. The Thorpedo, who simultaneously held the world records in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle for several years, abruptly retired in 2006 at age 24, before Phelps had a chance to avenge his one individual loss in the last two Olympics. (In the 200 free in Athens in 2004, won by Thorpe, Phelps came in third.) Now 28, Thorpe is training in Switzerland for a possible London berth. Phelps is so eager to take on the man he once bested in the 200 IM (at worlds in 2003) but never caught in the freestyle that, he says, "it kind of stinks you have to wait a year, if it happens."