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Natalie Coughlin
Michael Phelps returns to competitive swimming with second-place finish
Michael Phelps returns to competitive swimming with second-place finish

MESA, Ariz. — A buzz ran through the crowd, an accumulation of murmurs and applause that drifted across the pool to where Michael Phelps stood. It was just loud enough to make the swimmer grin as he stepped onto the block. "You heard people starting to get excited," he said. The 1,200 spectators at poolside weren't alone — an entire sport watched intently as the most-decorated athlete in Olympic history began his comeback from retirement this week. With an unprecedented 22 medals from three Games, Phelps is the Michael Jordan of swimming. His hefty endorsement earnings give him the clout of a pre-scandal Tiger Woods. Some wonder why he would risk that...

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