Michael Phelps is very similar to Christopher Nolan's Batman. While Nolan's Bruce Wayne took a break from wearing the cape and cowl, Phelps dramatically decreased his training regiment and event program in comparison to his cult-like preparation for the Beijing Olympics.
If the 2000 Olympic was Phelps' League of Shadows era as a wide-eyed 14-year-old Olympian, the 2004 Olympic Games in which he won six golds and a pair of bronzes was the second half of Batman Begins.
Ultimately, the Beijing Olympics was Phelps' Dark Knight moment. Those 17 days in the pool were a flawless masterpiece for Phelps that could only be equalled, never surpassed and that launched Phelps into legend status.
Finally, Dark Knight Rises, which opened in theatres a week before the Opening Ceremonies is Nolan's conclusion.
Phelps has also chosen to leave the Olympic stage on top after the London Games.
"I knew that I wanted to swim for another four years after 2008. I don't have that feeling now," he said. "Sure, I am excited I'm at the Olympics and representing my country. I don't see myself going on. I just don't want to.
London Olympics 2012: Where Usain Bolt vs. Yohan Blake And Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte Rank Among Top 5 Olympic Rivalries
1) Usain Bolt v. Yohan Blake
Bolt remains the world record holder in the 100 and 200 meters, however, Jamaican teammate Yohan "The Beast" Blake is on his heels. The youngest ever 100-meter world champion also ran the second fastest 200-meter race of all-time last year when he blazed a 19.26. He also had Bolt staring at his heels in both the 100 and 200 meters at the Jamaican Olympic trials.
Blake is a 5-foot-11 speed demon who gets off the blocks quicker than Bolt, however, the 6-foot-5 reigning 100-meter gold medalist has the longer stride and most top line speed in the world. Unfortunately, Bolt has also been hampered by a right hamstring injury caused by a bad back.
Blake's advantage in the starting blocks is the reason that he is favored in the 100 meters while Bolt is the 200 meters.
Bolt is a naturally laid back competitor who has been known to rely on his natural talent. On the world's stage, it will be truly interesting to observe whether Blake's rigorous training has allowed him to surpass Bolt as the world's fastest man.
2) Ryan Lochte v. Michael Phelps
In these modern times, whenever an athlete is incredibly successful it is automatically assumed that they used performance-enhancing drugs. In the case of legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong, the doubts were inevitable. In the latest chapter of Armstrong's battle against accusation, the seven-time Tour de France Winner is being dragged down by formal charges by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
The USADA released a 15-page letter claiming that it spoke with numerous sources that were aware of Armstrong and his team's experience with PEDs. The letter accused others, including team manager Johan Bruyneel, team doctors Luis Garcia del Moral and Pedro Celaya, and consulting doctor Jose Marti. Specific doping methods include blood transfusions and the administration of Human Growth Hormone.
Eleven months out of every year, Omaha, Nebraska is your typical midwestern All-American city. Recently named by Kiplinger.com as the #1 city in America to raise your kids, Omaha is by all accounts a big city with a wholesome small-town atmosphere. That will all change for about three weeks in late June and early July. The city, as it has done every year since 1950, will host the NCAA Men's Division I College World Series, welcoming the top eight college baseball teams in the country to the heartland. This year, however, Omaha is also home to the U.S. Olympic Swimming trials.