TIME swimming

Phelps Returns After Suspension: I Need to Prove I Have Changed

Arena Pro Swim Series at Mesa - Day 2
Chris Coduto—Getty Images Michael Phelps competes during day two of the Arena Pro Swim Series at the Skyline Aquatics Center in Mesa, Ariz., on April 16, 2015

Michael Phelps is back in the water – and determined to prove that he’s different.

The Olympic swimmer, 29, spoke publicly for the first time since his six-month suspension and rehab stint before competing at the 2015 Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa, Arizona, stating that he takes “responsibility for all of my actions.”

“I’ve hurt a lot of people and it’s been terrible. For me, being able to move forward and being able to be back in the pool is something I’m very excited about,” Phelps said during an opening-day press conference Wednesday.

“I understand that’s going to take a lot of time, for me to be able to prove to whoever I need to prove to that I am different, that I have changed. This week will be the first week I can start that,” he continued.

USA Swimming suspended the decorated athlete and forced him to withdraw from the 2015 world championships after he was arrested for drunk driving in Baltimore in September 2014.

Phelps also lost six months of funding from the organization and was banned from participating in USA Swimming-sanctioned meets through April 6, 2015. He sought treatment less than a week after his arrest.

The swim star said that he feels closer than ever to his loved ones and has become more mindful of his behavior: “I’m aware of everything that’s going on. I’m fully engaged in everything that’s happening.”

Despite reports that Phelps would potentially be reinstated to the team ahead of this year’s FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in August, USA Swimming ruled against allowing him to compete.

“It’s obviously very challenging for me to not be able to compete at world championships,” Phelps said. “I will be in full support of everything they do over there, and I wish them all the luck in Kazan.”

But the 18-time gold medalist said he aims to attend the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

She said yes😁😁😁 @nicole.m.johnson. (Photo credit to @arschmitty )

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

The Baltimore native has plenty to celebrate outside of the pool. Phelps proposed to girlfriend Nicole Johnson, 29, in February, taking to Instagram to announce the couple’s engagement.

“I know that I literally can say this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life,” he said during a media event.

This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com

TIME swimming

Michael Phelps Will Aim for 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

Michael Phelps during a practice session in Mesa, Ariz. on April 15, 2015.
Matt York—AP Michael Phelps during a practice session in Mesa, Ariz. on April 15, 2015.

The swimmer's 6-month-long suspension for DUI arrest ended on April 6

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps said Wednesday that he will try to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to ESPN’s Wayne Drehs.

It is the first time Phelps has publicly committed to trying for the 2016 Games. One year ago, he announced he was coming out of retirement and would possibly target the Olympics in Rio.

Phelps is returning to competition this week for the first time since being suspended for six months from all sanctioned events. USA Swimming suspended him in October after he was arrested for DUI, and his suspension ended on April 6. He is competing in the Arena Pro Swim Series, which is being held April 15-18 at Skyline Aquatic Center in Mesa, Ariz.

As part of his suspension, USA Swimming and Phelps decided he would not participate in the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia. It was reported that he could possibly be reinstated for the event, but on Wednesday Phelps said he respects the decision of USA Swimming and will not compete in Kazan.

Last November, fellow USA swimmer Ryan Lochte said he had “no doubt” Phelps will be ready for the 2016 Olympics. Phelps won eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics, including a one-hundredth of a second victory in the 100-meter butterfly that SI captured with an underwater camera.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 27

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Why did Saudi Arabia lead airstrikes on the rebels who’ve seized Yemen? The answer isn’t as clear as it seems.

By Frederic Wehrey at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

2. Three black swimmers swept the 100-yard freestyle at the NCAA swim championships — and swept away a long-standing stereotype.

By Kavitha Davidson in Bloomberg View

3. Could a Facebook deal to host news content make news brands obsolete?

By Felix Salmon in Fusion

4. A new satellite study reveals the rapid breakdown of Antarctic ice. Low-lying nations should be worried.

By Robert McSweeney in the Carbon Brief

5. Here’s how reproductive health rights for women can help end poverty.

By Valerie Moyer in the Aspen Idea

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME celebrities

Michael Phelps Just Got Engaged to Former Miss California USA

Subway Press Conference With Pele And Michael Phelps
Rafael Neddermeyer—Getty Images Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps attends a Subway press conference to promote healthy living and lifestyle among childrenon December 04, 2013 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Olympic champion is taking the plunge

Olympic champion Michael Phelps is engaged to girlfriend Nicole Johnson, the swimmer announced on Instagram Sunday.

The 22-time Olympic medalist posted a photo of the couple lying in the snow with the caption, “She said yes.” Johnson posted a similar photo to her Instagram with with the caption “I’m gonna be a Mrs.”

The couple began dating in 2009 but broke up in 2012 before getting back together, according to Page Six. Johnson was Miss California USA 2010.

She said yes😁😁😁 @nicole.m.johnson. (Photo credit to @arschmitty )

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

I'm gonna be a Mrs. 🙊🙈 @m_phelps00 💍❤️ 📷: @arschmitty

A photo posted by Nicole Michele (@nicole.m.johnson) on

TIME swimming

Michael Phelps Pleads Guilty to DUI, Avoids Jail Time

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps walks into a courthouse in Baltimore, Md. for a trial on drunken driving and other charges on Dec. 19, 2014.
Patrick Semansky—AP Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps walks into a courthouse in Baltimore, Md. for a trial on drunken driving and other charges on Dec. 19, 2014.

This is the Olympic swimmer's second DUI arrest in 10 years

Michael Phelps pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in court in Baltimore District Court on Friday, according to the Washington Post.

Phelps was given a one-year suspended prison sentence and 18 months of supervised probation, and will not need to serve jail time.

The swimmer was arrested in Maryland on Sept. 30 after reportedly driving 84 mph on a road where the speed limit is 45 mph. He was also charged with excessive speed and crossing double lane lines.

According to USA Today, Phelps received probation before judgment, and his record will be cleared if he does not have any repeat violations within the next 18 months.

“I hope we don’t have this conversation again and I’m optimistic that we won’t have this conversation again,” Judge Nathan Braverman said after his sentencing.

USA Swimming later suspended Phelps from their sanctioned events for six months.

It was Phelps’ second DUI arrest in ten years. The previous incident, which occurred when Phelps was 19-years-old, resulted in 18 months of probation.

After his arrest in September, Phelps took full responsibility for his actions and said he was “deeply sorry” to anyone he let down. On Oct. 5, he said he would enter a six-week treatment program.

Phelps, who has 22 Olympic medals, including 18 golds, announced in April that he was coming out of retirement and would possibly target the 2016 Olympics. He had just started training for the Rio Games before his arrest.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME swimming

Michael Phelps to Seek Help Following DUI Arrest

SWIM-PANPACS-AUS-USA
Patrick Hamilton—AFP/Getty Images Michael Phelps of the US reacts following the men's 100 m butterfly heat at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on the Gold Coast on Aug. 23, 2014.

"I’m going to take some time away to attend a program that will provide the help I need to better understand myself"

Olympic gold medalist and swimmer Michael Phelps announced he would be seeking professional help following a DUI arrest last week.

“I’m going to take some time away to attend a program that will provide the help I need to better understand myself,” the 29-year-old swimmer tweeted on Sunday.

Phelps’ blood-alcohol level was reportedly double the legal limit last Tuesday when he was pulled over after being caught driving 84 mph in a Maryland tunnel with a 45 mph speed limit. Phelps, who authorities say was cooperative during the incident, failed two sobriety tests and gave up on a third. He told police “that’s not happening” when he was asked to attempt standing on one leg.

Later that day, Phelps tweeted a multi-part apology that said he understood “the severity of [his] actions” and was “deeply sorry to everyone [he] let down,”

Phelps was previously charged with a DUI in 2004 after he ran a stop sign.

Phelps has earned 22 Olympic medals, including eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and four gold medals in the 2012 London Games. Phelps has not confirmed his participation in the Rio Games in 2016.

TIME swimming

Michael Phelps Tweets Apology After DUI Bust

Olympian was going almost double the speed limit and failed a sobriety test, authorities say

Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps tweeted to his fans Tuesday afternoon after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Maryland early Tuesday morning.

Phelps, who is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, was caught driving 84 mph in a tunnel with a 45mph speed limit, Maryland police said. He allegedly crossed double lines in the tunnel, and failed multiple sobriety tests. Authorities told NBC he was cooperative throughout the process. Phelps had been charged with a DUI once before, in 2004, after he ran a stop sign.

The swimmer acknowledged Tuesday’s incident on Twitter, and apologized for letting fans down:

Phelps has 22 Olympic medals to his name, and famously won eight gold medals in eight events at the Beijing Games in 2008. He won four more gold medals at the London Games in 2012, but has not yet confirmed whether he will swim in the Rio Games in 2016.

TIME olympics

Michael Phelps Busted on DUI Charge

SWIM-PANPACS-AUS-USA
Patrick Hamilton—AFP/Getty Images Michael Phelps of the US reacts following the men's 100 m butterfly heat at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on the Gold Coast in Australia on Aug. 23, 2014.

Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete in history

Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps was arrested and charged with DUI and other charges in Maryland early Tuesday morning, News4 has confirmed.

Phelps was driving 84 mph inside the Fort McHenry Tunnel on Interstate 95 in Baltimore, said Maryland Transportation Authority Police. The speed limit in the tunnel is 45 mph.

Phelps was also charged with excessive speed and crossing double lane lines. He was arrested around 1:40 a.m., TMZ first reported. Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete in history with 22 medals: 18 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME animals

This Corgi Swimming in a Pond Is the Definition of Delightful

Looks like it's having the best summer ever

What’s this? Oh, just a long-haired corgi going for a nice swim in Japan. Watch as it flaps its stubby little legs and struggles to keep its adorable, giant head above water. None of us will ever know joy like this.

To see more of this awesome pooch, check out its blog.

TIME Photos

Feel Good Friday: 14 Fun Photos to Start Your Weekend

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