Michael Phelps makes history by qualifying for fifth Olympics

Michael Phelps Qualifies for Olympics
Michael Phelps Qualifies for Olympics

Michael Phelps is heading to Rio — and into the history books after becoming the first American male swimmer to qualify for five Olympic Games.

Phelps, already a 22-time Olympic medalist, finished first in the men's 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska, Wednesday. Coming in second, Tom Shields also qualified to represent USA in the 2016 Summer Games.

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"With everything that's happened, being able to come back, that's probably harder than any swim I've had in my life," Phelps, 31, said after the race, according to USAToday.

The Baltimore Bullet won eight gold medals in Beijing in 2008, but there has been much turmoil in his life since then, including a second DUI, a subsequent ban from USA Swimming and a stint in rehab. Now engaged to longtime girlfriend Nicole Johnson, and father to two-month-old son, Boomer, he is more than ready to represent his country again.

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Phelps is expected to swim multiple events in Rio, depending on what he qualifies for this week. He will also swim the 100 fly and 200 individual medley. He scratched out of both the 100 and 200 freestyle events, though he could still be named to the relay teams based on previous results.

"Just being able to finish how I want to is so important to me," he said. "Getting on this team is what I wanted to do."

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The Rio Olympics begin Aug. 5 and will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. The Rio Paralympics begin on Sept. 7 and will be streamed live on TeamUSA.org.

See an Instagram of Phelps' biggest fans below.

View this post on Instagram

Mom and I are excited to go watch dad tonight!!

A post shared by boomer phelps (@boomerrphelps) on Jun 28, 2016 at 3:00pm PDT