Testing the waters: ASU student attempting Olympic comeback

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Four-time Olympic gold medalist Allison Schmitt is making a comeback at ASU. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Four-time Olympic gold medalist Allison Schmitt is making a comeback at ASU. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Don’t call it a comeback. Actually, maybe you can.

The truth is that four-time gold medal winner Allison Schmitt isn’t sure either.

“Michael had Instagrammed a picture of 2020,” said Schmitt in her return to competitive swimming earlier this month at the TYR Pro Series in Mesa. “I was like ‘no way,’ but a few weeks after that I was in Bob's office and said, 'What do you think about this?’ I said, ‘If you don't think it's a good idea, I'll walk out of here and we never had this talk. I'll walk out of here and never get back in the pool.’ But we got in and here we are back here in Mesa."

[SPECIAL SECTION: College sports in Arizona]

Michael and Bob are ASU and USA Swimming coach Bob Bowman and the most decorated Olympian of all time, ASU assistant swimming coach Michael Phelps. Schmitt took second in the 200-meter freestyle in her first competition since the Rio Olympics.

“It always was a passion but I was definitely done,” said Schmitt following the race. “I thought that I was over swimming and ready to move on and getting a career. As I'm on that path of getting a career outside the pool, I was like, ‘Hey, why not try?’ I knew that if I was sitting on the couch and watching the next Olympics, I didn't want that what if. So now here I am. Whatever happens, happens. I'm excited to be back competing. This part of the journey is definitely exciting."

Schmitt owns eight Olympic medals, four gold. Since Rio, Schmitt has been studying at ASU and trying to bring awareness to mental health. She’s been very open about her own battle with depression.

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“Spreading awareness for mental health is No. 1. I love going to talk about it, especially to schools and younger kids,” said Schmitt. “If I can use those medals as a platform, kids see people on TV and as soon as you see someone on TV you're like, ‘Wow that person's famous!’ If I can use that voice to spread awareness for mental health, that's exactly what I want to do.”

The 27-year-old has big plans for the coming year but a long way to go to make the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. She’s already taken the most important step of the journey, the first step. To hear more from Allison about her comeback click here.

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