CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
While most members of the Olympic team have resumed swimming since London, Phelps and a few other big names either retired or decided to take an extended break.
Longtime breaststroke stalwarts Brendan Hanson and Eric Shanteau have apparently called it a career, setting the stage for a swimmer such as Cordes to fill the void. He just missed out on the last Olympics, finishing third at the trials in the 200 breast.
In addition, women’s breaststroke star Rebecca Soni is taking the year off and hasn’t decided whether the move is permanent.
But it’s Phelps, of course, who left the biggest hole.
“We relied on him so much, just his consistent winning,” said Jessica Hardy, who won two relay medals in London. “It will be interesting to see how we do without him ... the level of professionalism that’s missing now. He just set such a good example for hard work. I was lucky to have swum with him. It rubbed off on me just getting to watch him do all his miracles and stuff. I’m really appreciative of that.”
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