Gold medal swimmer says it isn't easy to decide whether to retire (PHOTO courtesy of Joshdavis.com)
Josh Davis knows exactly what Michael Phelps is going through.
Phelps has completed his swimming in the 2012 Olympics in London, and now Phelps is considering whether to retire or to return to compete in 2016.
That was the decision Davis, a five medal winning swimmer who was a champion in both of the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, and a world record holder, had to decide in 2000.
"It becomes much a part of your routine and community and identity, I think it's actually easier if you have an injury," Davis told 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.
Davis, who turns 40 next month, was just as golden in the 1990s' as Phelps is today, with a boat load of Olympic medals and world championships under his belt. But he says the decision to retire after the 2000 games was the toughest he's ever made.
"I still miss it," he said. "Every day I dream about a comeback. It is still possible to compete at a world class level in your late thirties and even your forties."
And he says that's what makes it so difficult to decide to walk away when you're at the top of your game. He says individual sports like swimming are different from beign a player in tem sports, becasue in tem sports you have the team to give you hints when it's time to move on. Swimmers have to make the decision all by themselves.
"When you still have the physical ability to stil train, to still compete on a world level, and you're making money doing it, it becomes very difficult to know when to retire," he said.
Phelps has said he may return for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but he remains uncertain.
If Phelps wants to see what life is like after retirement, Davis is a good role model. The Churchill High School product and San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame member now has a crowded schedule as a motivational and Christian speaker. He also leads an annual swimming clinic and does television work.