It was a hard first day of swimming for Michael Phelps, who was pushed off of the podium in the 400-meter IM. For the first time in a long time, there were questions of whether or not Phelps could win a medal in London and affirmations that he is correct in retiring.
All of this has come prematurely as Phelps' best events are still yet to come. He is the clear medal favorite in both the 100 and 200 fly, and at the U.S. Trials, he beat Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley.
Also, he still has at least two relays left to swim after winning a silver with the U.S. in the 4x100 freestyle earlier today.
Needless to say, Phelps is nowhere near done. He is just two medals away now from becoming the winningest Olympian of all time. In a legacy filled with gold medals, world records, incredible feats and more, this would just be the perfect close to Phelps' excellent career.
This is a big day for Phelps as the qualifying in by far his best event, the 200 fly, begins. Phelps is a lockdown favorite to win this event, which he has dominated ever since winning it and setting an Olympic record back in 2004.
Since that time, he has set and beaten his world record numerous times and won two Olympic Games, three world championships and won the Pan Pacific Championships another two times.
Most dominantly. however, Phelps has not lost the 200 fly once since the 2003 world championships (he did not swim the event at the 2005 worlds). He is the going away favorite to win his first gold of the London Games in this event.
Preliminaries: Monday July 30, 5:20 a.m. ET
Semifinals: Monday July 30, 3:30 p.m. ET
Finals: Tuesday July 31, 2:45 p.m. ET
Although the final roster hasn't come out, there is almost no doubt Phelps will be swimming in the 4x200 freestyle relay. He was a member of the gold-medal-winning team in both 2004 and 2008 and is a part of the team that currently holds the world record and that is a favorite to win again in 2012.
Preliminaries: Tuesday July 31, 5 a.m. ET
Finals: Tuesday July 31, 2:30 p.m. ET
Round 2 of the Phelps-Lochte duel in the pool begins on August 1 as the preliminary and semifinal heats of the 200-meter IM take place.
After not medaling in the 400, Phelps will no doubt be more focused and driven to medal in the 200. Lochte will be strong competition, but in the shorter distance, Phelps could have the advantage. There will be less time for Lochte to pull away.
With a better showing in qualifying, Phelps can assure himself a better lane assignment where he can see Lochte and know exactly what he needs to do during the race. If not gold, Phelps should at least medal in this event.
Preliminaries: August 1, 6:05 a.m. ET
Semifinals: August 1, 3:40 p.m. ET
This is a two-event day for Phelps as he will be swimming in both the finals of the 200 IM and the preliminaries and semifinals of the 100 fly.
He should medal in the 200 IM, but as was shown in the 400, he will really need to have a good race all around. He is capable of beating Lochte as he showed at Olympic Trials when he finished first.
Finals: August 2, 3:15 p.m. ET
Just like the 200 fly, the 100 fly is one of Phelps' best events. He is the current and three-time world champion in the event and is also the two-time defending Olympic gold medalists. He currently holds the Olympic record in the 100 fly as well. He is the gold-medal favorite going into this event.
Preliminaries: August 2, 6:10 a.m. ET
Semifinals: August 2, 3:50 p.m. ET
Phelps has another two event day on August 3. He will be swimming in the 100 fly, and he will also be part of the U.S. relay that contests the 4x100 medley.
In the fly, Phelps is the favorite to win gold and become the three-time gold medalist in this event.
Finals: August 3, 2:35 p.m. ET
In 2009 as a member of the medley relay world championship team, Phelps and the Americans beat their own world record that they set at Beijing. They defended that title at the 2010 Pan Pacific and 2011 World Championships and are the current favorites entering the race in London.
Preliminary Heat: August 3, 6:45 a.m. ET
Phelps' medal journey and illustrious career of competitive swimming comes to an end on August 4. His final race is scheduled to be the 4x100 medley race medal race. If the U.S. successfully defends their title as they are expected to, Phelps will close his London Games on a positive note.
Finals: August 4, 3:25 p.m. ET