Michael Phelps may only be 26, but in the Olympic swimming world, he's a veteran.
As the record holder for the most gold medals won in a single Olympics (eight at the 2008 Beijing games, when he was only 23), and the winner of 16 Olympic medals in total, Phelps is gearing up for what will most likely be his last Olympics: London 2012.
London will mark his fourth Olympic appearance, where is expected to compete in familiar races like the 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m medley and so on. But Phelps has stated numerous times that he won't go for eight again. (That is out of the question, he told the LA Times in June 2011).
On Tuesday, the Maryland native was in New York City to announce a new campaign with Head & Shoulders, where he was on hand to answer -- and dodge -- those Olympic questions.
There are goals that I think are meaningful, and some that are special to me, helping me get out of bed in the morning and into the pool . . . over the last three years, I was golfing more than I was swimming, Phelps told Bloomberg.
This is the most excited I've been since going into Beijing, this is the best shape I've been in since going into Beijing, he added.
Later in the day, Phelps visited the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx, where he mingled and held a Q&A with about a dozen kids, according to Reuters. The Boys and Girls Club is partly supported by a partnership between the Michael Phelps Swim School and KidsHealth.org.
Phelps is due for three weeks of intense altitude training beginning on Feb. 12.
Click through for photos of Michael Phelps, all grown up and ready for London 2012.