Čavić has swam for Serbia in the past three Olympics and is currently rated third in the world in the 100m Butterfly. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing it appeared that Čavić had out touched Michael Phelps defeating Phelps in his signature 100m Butterfly event but Phelps had stopped the clock first beating Čavić by a scant one-hundreth-of a-second. To put that slice of time into perspective: an eye back is 3-to-4-time slower than that hundredth-of-a-second finish. It was both a victory and a loss that was talked about for months.
See this New York Times article for an explanation and recap: [Link]
When I read the article I got the feeling that Čavić is so over the Phelps rivalry and seems to appreciate his health, his talent, and his future way more than a single race that decides who gets a gold plated medallion. You see Čavić sustained a back injury shortly after Beijing that both broke and humbled him. He could not tie his shoes, he needed assistance getting out of bed, he could not even dry his legs after a swim because the pain was so bad.
Friends, family members and doctors told him that he could never return to his former greatness... but he did and he is proud of that. Now he is rated number three in the world.
From Sports Illustrated at CNN:
Like Phelps, Cavic is planning to retire after the London Games[.]
"At this point, nothing else motivates me. It's just all about the Olympics, and if I could win an Olympic medal, that would be the perfect ending to my career," he said.
"If I don't win a medal, I just hope that when I touch the wall I'm going to feel that inner peace, knowing that I gave everything that I could," added Cavic, who is 28. "I'm no longer a kid. I'm ready to walk away as soon as this Olympics is over." Cavic already has plans for his post-swimming career
"I'm a candidate for the athlete commission of the IOC," he said. "I hope I get elected to that, and that would be one step toward what I hope to get into someday -- sports politics."