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Phelps Prepares To Face Off Against Rival & Friend In London Olympics

 BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimore’s Michael Phelps says the upcoming London Olympics will be his last, but he’ll first have to face off against his U.S. rival Ryan Lochte.

Mary Bubala has the story.

Michael Phelps is back in the water hoping to add to his Olympic medal collection at the London Olympics. He has 16 already, including eight from the last summer Olympics in Beijing.

“The only thing I’m worried about right now is myself and preparing myself to go out and represent our country wearing the stars and stripes and try to swim as fast as I can,” Phelps said.

But this time Phelps finds himself up against fellow American, Ryan Lochte. They’re fierce rivals in the pool but they’re also friends.

“We have a great relationship, a great rivalry and a great friendship. Last night he was in my room and we were playing cards,” Lochte said.

If Phelps earns medals in just three of the seven of the events he’s expected to compete in, he’ll break a world record and become the most decorated Olympian in history. And to think it all started at the Meadowbrook in Mt. Washington.

“He’s probably the hardest racer I’ve ever come across,” Lochte said.

But Lochte is also a tough competitor with six Olympic medals already, and he’s hungry for more.

Luke Filipkowski is rooting for Phelps, while his brother Nick Filipkowski likes Lochte.

“It means it’s a split family!” Nick Filipkowski said.

The brothers waited for hours in the rain to watch the two Olympians practice in Tennessee.

“It was pretty cool to come out and hear these guys cheering us on,”  Phelps said.

The crowds will be larger and louder when they face off in London.

Phelps says he plans to retire after the games.

Right now the most decorated Olympian champion ever is a Russian gymnast who earned 18 medals in three Olympic Games by 1964.

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