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Michael Phelps makes history by qualifying for fifth Olympics

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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.

RELATED: Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson through the years

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Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson
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Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson
PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 10: U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and fiancee Nicole Johnson attend the NBA game between the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors at Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 10, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Warriors defeated the Suns 112-104. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson attend the 2015 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards at J.W. Marriot at L.A. Live on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson attend the 2015 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards at J.W. Marriot at L.A. Live on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - APRIL 18: Michael Phelps' fiancee Nicole Johnson sits in the stands during day four of the Arena Pro Swim Series at the Skyline Aquatic Center on April 18, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - APRIL 15: Michael Phelps leaves the pool deck after winning the 200 meter butterfly final during the Arena Pro swim series meet on April 15, 2016 in Mesa, AZ. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - APRIL 16: Michael Phelps' fiancee Nicole Johnson cheers after Phelps won the 100m Butterfly Final on day two of the Arena Pro Swim Series at the Skyline Acquatic Center on April 16, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 27: Nicole Johnson, girlfriend of Michael Phelps of the United States smiles after he won gold in the Men's 200m Butterfly Final during Day Twelve of the 14th FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Center on July 27, 2011 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 28: Silver medalist Michael Phelps of the United States is congratulated by girlfriend Nicole Johnson, mother Debbie and sister Hilary after the Men's 200m Individual Medley Final during Day Thirteen of the 14th FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Center on July 28, 2011 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 29: Michael Phelps of the United States is congratulated by girlfriend Nicole Johnson after the Men's 4x200m Freestyle during Day Fourteen of the 14th FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Center on July 29, 2011 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 29: Michael Phelps of the United States shares a joke with Nicole Johnson (L) and sister Hilary after the Men's 4x200m Freestyle during Day Fourteen of the 14th FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Center on July 29, 2011 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 04: Michael Phelps prepares to swim in the Men's 200 meter freestyle heat race during the 2016 Austin Elite Invite on June 4, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 05: Coach Bob Bowman talks with Michael Phelps during the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite on June 5, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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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."

SEE MORE: Visit AOL.com's new Rio 2016 experience

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.

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

A post shared by boomer phelps (@boomerrphelps) on

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