Everyone believed that the London 2012 Summer Olympics would be Michael Phelps’ last Olympic Games. The 27-year-old “Tiger Woods of swimming” told the New York Times, “I finished my career the way I wanted to. I think that’s pretty cool.”

But after taking some time out of the water, Phelps realized he wasn’t quite ready to retire from the sport.

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

In preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Phelps realized he has to make some bigger sacrifices if he doesn’t want a repeat of the London Games. The Olympian states that he’s completely cutting alcohol out of his diet for the 2016 Rio Games and possibly for life. He tells the Associated Press,

“Before I even went to court, I said to myself that I’m not going to drink until after Rio — if I ever drink again. That was a decision I made for myself. I’m being honest with myself. Going into 2008 and 2012, I didn’t do that. I didn’t say I was going to take a year off from drinking and not have a drink.”

He claims that he did not cut out booze from his diet in previous Games, but was still able to accumulate the record-breaking 22 Olympic medals. But after returning from the London Olympics, Phelps was ticketed for driving under the influence, where he was charged with probation. Phelps says,

“If I’m going to come back, I need to do this the right way. I’ve got to put my body in the best physical shape I can possibly get it in. Is it a challenge? No. I go to bed earlier. I sleep more. I wake up every day and have a completely clear head. I don’t feel like my head went through a brick wall. There are so many positives to it.”

Phelps understands that with the stiff upcoming competition between him and his American rival, Ryan Lochte, he will have to go above and beyond in the water. We salute your dedication and sobriety, Michael Phelps.

[via Bleacher Report]