Olympian Michael Phelps will be competing in four events at the Maryland Swimming Championships at the US Naval Academy this weekend, and his participation is further proof of just how unique swimming is compared to other sports.
It's not likely you'll ever see LeBron James compete in a local 3-on-3 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 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 meter butterfly and the 500 meter 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.
An earlier version of this article misidentified the location of December's North Baltimore Aquatic Club Christmas Invitational. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.