Olympian Michael Phelps will be competing in four events at the Maryland Swimming Championships at the Naval Academy this weekend, and his participation is further proof of just how different swimming is from other sports.
It's not likely you'll ever see LeBron James compete in a local three-on-three tournament or Tiger Woods tee it up in a friendly scramble at the municipal course just down the street from his house. But this weekend at Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Phelps will be just another face in the crowd at the short-course meet where a majority of the competitors are teenagers or younger.
He'll be the only swimmer with 14 gold medals, however, and his participation is just all part of the long road of training that will finish at the 2012 Olympics in London. Phelps, who lives in Fells Point, swam in the North Baltimore Aquatic Club Christmas Invitational in December at Lejeune Hall.
According to the entry sheets, Phelps is scheduled to compete in the 400-meter individual medley, the 200 IM, the 200 butterfly and the 500 freestyle.
NBAC swimmer Elizabeth Pelton, who made the U.S. world championship team in two events, is also slated to compete, along with Brennan Morris, who made the world championship team in the 1,500 freestyle.
Phelps recently signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour apparel, agreeing to wear the company's workout clothes when he's not in the pool. He also made several promotional appearances in Vancouver at the Winter Games.