What was originally reported by the Baltimore Sun Tuesday morning (and then confirmed by Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde) became official a few hours later: Michael Phelps is scheduled to compete in seven events at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming next week in Omaha, Nebraska. His biggest rival, and greatest threat in London, Ryan Lochte, is entered in 11 total events.
Of course, Lochte likely won't swim all 11, and even Phelps might not follow through with his seven events -- "athletes can scratch out of an event up to the conclusion of the finals the day before the prelims of their next event is scheduled."
USA Swimming released the psych sheet (PDF) -- an order of events with participating swimmers -- for the trials, which run from June 25-July 1 and will be held at the CenturyLink Center. The top two finishers in each event will go to the Olympic Games in London.
Phelps is entered in the 400m IM, 200m free, 200m fly, 100m free, 200m back, 200m IM and 100m fly. He is the top seed in both the 100m and 200m butterfly. The most notable of his seven, perhaps, is the 400m IM, considered to be the most grueling event for a swimmer, and a race Phelps himself said he'd never do again after setting the world record at the 2008 Beijing Games.
"It's safe to say he's entered in more events than he'll actually swim," Bob Bowman, Phelps' coach, told the USA Today.
Lochte's 11 events are: 400m IM, 400m free, 100m breast, 200m free, 100m back, 200m fly, 100m free, 200m back, 200m IM, 50m free and 100m fly. He's the No. 1 seed in the 400 IM, 200 free, 200 back and 200 IM (he's also the current world-record holder).
So, if you're keeping track, Phelps and Lochte could go head-to-head in a total of six events: the 400m IM, 100 and 200 free, 200 back, 200 IM and 100 fly.
Another notable event to keep an eye on is the men's 100m free -- not only will it have Phelps and Lochte, but also Ryan Lezak and the current American-record holder, David Walters.
On the women's side, 11-time Olympic medal winner Natalie Coughlin is entered in five events (100m back, 100m free, 100m fly, 200m IM and 50m free) while 45-year-old Dana Torres is in the 50m free.
Missy Franklin, a 17-year-old rising star from Colorado, is entered in five events: 50m free, 100m and 200m back, and 100m and 200m freestyle.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming, which will be held at the CenturyLink Center, run from June 25-July 1. A complete schedule and be found at the USA Swimming site.