Swimming legend Michael Phelps opted out of the NCAA – Here’s why

In the history of swimming, no one has dominated the sport quite like Michael Phelps. He won 28 Olympic medals including 23 gold. That was more than most countries that have participated in the Olympics.

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Usually, a swimmer also participates in NCAA competitions. Participating in varsity competitions helps swimmers gain valuable experience. However, Phelps did not participate in the competition.

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He decided not to accept his NCAA eligibility and turned pro. From there, he became a sports legend, winning numerous medals in several events.

Michael Phelps did not opt ​​for NCAA swimming

Making his debut at the age of 15 at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Phelps became the youngest male swimmer to make Team USA in 68 years. The last person to do so was Ralph Flanagan.

He qualified for the 200m butterfly final. However, he could not win the event as he finished fifth. After that, with NCAA eligibility up his sleeve, Phelps turned it down and turned pro.

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He sign an agreement with swimming giants Speedo. The move meant he could no longer compete in NCAA events. Although NCAA swimming is highly valued in the country, it would have been great to see him competing. But, as fans, we haven’t had the chance to see a young Phelps beaming with confidence and slaloming past his opponents.

OMAHA, NE – JULY 02: Michael Phelps of the United States competes in the men’s 100 meter butterfly final on day seven of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at CenturyLink Center on July 2, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Although he did not compete in the NCAA, he still holds many age group national records. His participation in the event would have been a good watch, but he had different goals in mind.

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The legend arrives

Phelps appeared at the 2001 World Championships and it was there that he made history. He became the youngest men’s world record holder in swimming in his flagship 200-metre butterfly event, posting a time of 1:54.92 seconds. It was just a remarkable achievement on the part of the talented swimmer. The legacy he created by turning down the NCAA to turn pro turned out to be a wise move.

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 11: Gold medalist Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men’s 200m individual medley final on Day 6 of the Rio Olympics Games 2016 at Olympic Aquatic Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Medals dove into his cat and he created ripples across the world. Becoming the symbol of swimming thereafter, Phelps became a legend in the sport and dominated it for years. What a sensational swimmer he was!