Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps acknowledges the crowd at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sept. 27, 2008. Phelps was back at the University of Michigan, his home for four years before the Beijing Games. [Agencies]
ANN ARBOR, Michigan - Olympic swim star Michael Phelps returned to the University of Michigan, his home for four years before the Beijing Games.
"It feels good to be back," he said Saturday. "It feels good to be back in the maize and blue."
Phelps was honored with other Olympians with ties to the school before Saturday's football game against Wisconsin. He sported a Wolverines football jersey with his name and No. 8, representing the record-setting gold medals he won last month.
This August, 2008 file photo shows Michael Phelps has two tattoos peeking out of his trunks - one of the Olympic rings and the other an M for the University of Michigan. [Agencies]
Phelps lived and trained in Ann Arbor after emerging as a star at the Athens Games in 2004 and returned to campus for the first time this week since leaving for workouts June 25.
"Everything has been pretty chill and low key," he said. "That's how it's always been here because this campus has so many high-profile athletes."
He has two tattoos, Olympic rings and a block 'M' , and says he chose the school's iconic symbol because Ann Arbor was the place where he experienced such firsts as washing dishes and doing laundry.
"Coming here and living here for four years taught me a lot, and I'm thankful for the experiences I had here because they changed my life," Phelps said. "I wanted to get that as a memory of something that really changed my life."
Phelps said he does look forward to slowing down back in his native Baltimore, where he will live and train for the 2012 London Games.
Phelps has traveled extensively since Beijing, going to London, being honored in a parade at Disney World in Florida, hosting "Saturday Night Live" and attending the MTV Video Music Awards.
Phelps said he has enjoyed each of his post-Beijing experiences, especially having actress Demi Moore introduce herself and invite him to dinner after MTV's award show.
"I'm living a dream," he said.
But he repeated a wish he's had for years: "I still haven't met (Michael) Jordan."
Later in the afternoon, one of Jordan's friends said the Hall of Fame basketball player wants Phelps to join him at his golf tournament this winter in the Bahamas.