In addition to announcing what might be the most lucrative endorsement contract in the history of swimming, Michael Phelps also finalized his competitive schedule this week for his coming trip to Australia.
Predictably, the most versatile swimmer in the world will be one of the busiest in two meets Down Under.
The Qantas Skins, a made-for-TV meet that encompasses multiple races in each event, will be Nov. 26 in Sydney. Phelps will compete in the distance freestyle and 50-meter butterfly.
At the FINA World Cup meet that will follow in Melbourne, the 18-year-old from the North Baltimore Aquatic Club is entered in the 200 butterfly and 100 individual medley on Nov. 28, the 200 backstroke and 200 IM on Nov. 29 and the 100 fly and 400 IM on Nov. 30.
The 100 IM isn't on the Olympic program. NBAC coach Bob Bowman usually doesn't include non-Olympic events in Phelps' training, but he made an exception this time to maintain a rigorous regimen.
Phelps ranks first or second in the world in six events, which led the Speedo swimwear company to include a $1 million bonus in his new contract should he win seven gold medals in the 2004 or 2008 Olympics.
Phelps will spend more than three weeks on the road. He'll start with research and development work for Speedo in New Zealand and finish with a week of training in Manly, near Sydney.
He will make a promotional appearance at Security Square Mall today from 2 to 5 p.m.