Phelps headed to Tokyo 2020 as swimwear salesman

Michael Phelps will be heading to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, but not as a swimmer. The decorated Olympian, who retired after Rio 2016, will instead be selling his own-brand of bathing suits pool side, at the Olympic Games. 


Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps (left), presents his swimwear collection in Paris on Feb. 16 2017 - AFP

Following 20 years of living and breathing swimming, Phelps could not completely cut ties with the swimming community. As he made the transition to retired athlete in 2014, Phelps began collaborating with Aqua Sphere on a line of bathing suits.
 
"It has become a passion in which I invest a lot of time and energy,” Phelps said Thursday in Paris where he launched his designs. “I enjoy being around sports and swimming. It will be like this for the rest of my life and I love that."
 
In Rio 2016, Phelps took home five gold medals while wearing his own creations.
 
"I was more confident in my swimming by wearing my own gear," he added. Phelps had originally planned to retire from competitive swimming after the 2012 London Olympics where he won 6 medals including 2 gold. But two years later he came back.
 
Phelps says that some Australian swimmers were interested in his designs in 2016, but could not wear them at the Olympics due to other sponsorship agreements. 

Meanwhile, Phelps said that Paris hosting the 2024 Olympics "would be very special" but admitted that his heart naturally was with the Los Angeles bid. The two cities as well as Budapest are vying to host the Games in seven years' time with a decision to be made by the International Olympic Committee in September. "Having the Games in Paris would be very special, but I cannot lie. I am a little biased," said Phelps. "The US is my country so I support Los Angeles for 2024."

Translated by Jennifer Braun

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