Michael Phelps looks to be at peace, and he's said these Olympic Games are his last. It would make sense if he does really follow through and retire.
But Ryan Lochte isn't buying it. A longtime U.S. teammate, friend and close rival with Phelps, Lochte believes the 26-time Olympic medalist won't be able to stay away from the next Summer Olympic Games in 2020.
Speaking on NBC's TODAY show Friday morning, Lochte was adamant his buddy will make an encore appearance.
"I guarantee he will be there,'' Lochte said. "I think so. I really think so. So, Michael, I'll see you in Tokyo."
You might want to dismiss Lochte's prediction, but bear in mind: He's been right before. When Phelps was adamant in 2012 that the London Olympic Games would be his last, Lochte refused to buy it.
"I think he will come back,” Lochte said at the time. "He's still young. I think he will be back for Rio. We'll see, he'll miss the sport."
And that's exactly how it played out.
Of course, there are reasons to doubt a 2020 Games for Phelps. He would be 35 by then, surely on the physical decline. Even if he did return, he would almost certainly have to pare down the events he competed in.
On top of that, his own coach believes that Phelps' state of mind is such that a return in four years just doesn't make sense.
But Lochte was right four years ago, so it's hard to dismiss him now. And with Phelps 4-for-4 in gold medal attempts with two races to go at these Olympic Games, it's easy to see how his success in Rio could propel him into a fifth Olympic bid.