Dara Torres

Phelps and the final turn

Michael Phelps is headed back to the Olympics for the fifth time, and it is easy to get sentimental about the champion swimmer from Towson. We have watched him mature from 15-year-old wunderkind to record-setting champion and now elder statesman of his sport. He is likely headed for his final Olympic lap — as a medal contender this summer in Rio given his top finish in the 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. trials this week in Omaha — but he's not the same man that he was years ago.

In many ways, Michael Phelps is better than he was. Not necessarily faster or more...