After dazzling fans for more than a decade, Michael Phelps will swim his last race on Saturday, and there is a good chance that it will end the way most of his Olympic events have: with a gold medal.
Phelps will be swimming the butterfly leg of 4x100 medley relay, an event the U.S. men have never lost. The Americans are sending out an imposing quartet that includes three gold medalists - Phelps, freestyler Nathan Adrian and backstroker Matt Grevers - plus breaststroker Brendan Hansen, who won a bronze.
"I don't think Michael is going to let anything go wrong in that race," said Eric Shanteau, who swam on the U.S. relay in Friday's prelims.
Indeed, it's unfathomable to think the Phelps era could end with anything less than another gold-medal performance.
"I thought it would hit me a lot harder than what it is right now," Phelps said Friday. "I guess a lot of those emotions haven't really come through my brain over the last week."
"Once I'm done," he added, "I think there's going to be a lot more emotion that really comes out."