SACO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, the winner of 22 medals, eighteen of them gold -- but there's one accomplishment he had never racked up until this week: visiting Maine.
He's here because his agent, Peter Carlisle, lives and works in Maine. Today, Phelps put on a bathing suit and slipped into the water at a new training facility, the Michael Phelps Skill Center in Saco.
Several high school swim coaches were invited to watch and ask questions. Although he's retired, Phelps still swims with remarkable power and smoothness... but that was not the case when he went into the ocean in Maine for the first time.
"I literally walked over and put my foot in and I was like, this isn't going to be that bad. I should be alright to swim like 40 or 50 meters in it easily. And I jump in take like 5 strokes and everything I felt like shut down, like my whole body just shut down and went numb. And I was like this is not what I want to do right now."
Here's something to reassure any tentative young swimmers: when Michael Phelps started the sport as a boy, he didn't wanted to get his face wet... so he learned to swim on his back.