2012 London Olympics: Michael Phelps Interview

Michael Phelps is now the most decorated Olympian in history. But, he's still humble and approachable with the press.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

You might’ve heard of Michael Phelps. He swims a bit.

And he’s the most successful Olympian in history.

In what he swears is not only his last Olympics but his last competitive swim meet, Phelps wrapped up his final career total of 22 medals – more than any other human in history. He’s also the first man to defend an event title in three consecutive games (the 200-meter individual medley.)

There are few athletes more in demand than Phelps at the London 2012 Olympics than Phelps. But, while other stars like Usain Bolt stick to their own schedules and prefer to talk to major news outlets, Phelps not only appeared before the media corps at the London Media Centre. but he answered questions from anyone willing to serve them up in brief bunches – including CraveOnline.

Sitting in front of Phelps is to behold a very rare human physique. He’s obviously tall and lean. That’s not a scoop. He’s an Olympic swimmer. But, he also has a wingspan longer than his height. His shoulders and deltoids taper to a non-existent waste line. And his neck is wider than his head – ears included.

He’s also soft-spoken – almost shy. And that’s something he’ll have to work on as the world is going to continue to want to speak to him – just as we did.

CRAVEONLINE: Will you have one lasting memory of the London 2012 Olympics? Or was it all a blur?

Michael Phelps: It’s hard to go through everything that went through my head this week. From the moment I got here, when I realized that this was no only my last meet, but my last Olympics, the emotions have been all over the place. But those moments with my family, my friends and my teammates along the way will stay with me forever.

CRAVEONLINE: You’ve had so much success over the years – especially with the incredible clean sweep of the Swimming Gold Medals in Beijing. When you struggled in your first couple of races early on, was there anything resembling panic?

Michael Phelps: Obviously, I didn’t get off to the kind of start I wanted. But, I was able to finish with what I thought was a pretty good week. In the end, I can look back and honestly say I accomplished everything I set out to do in my swimming career.

CRAVEONLINE: Early on in the swimming, you took second to your teammate and main rival, Ryan Lochte. Are you really able to be friends with him when competing against him?

Michael Phelps: People say we can’t or should be able to, but we do. He’s a friend, and after we race each other, we’re still friends.

CRAVEONLINE: Will you have one lasting memory of the London 2012 Olympics? Or was it all a blur?

Michael Phelps: It’s hard to go through everything that went through my head this week. From the moment I got here, when I realized that this was no only my last meet, but my last Olympics, the emotions have been all over the place.

CRAVEONLINE: Any other sports you want to try now that you won’t be in the pool every day?

Michael Phelps: I think golf is something I’m going to play a lot of – doing it a lot more than I have in the past just because I have the time now.

CRAVEONLINE: People are arguing about whether you really retired. You say you have. If that’s true, what’s up next?

Michael Phelps: The competitive part of my career is over, but I’m not done with the sport. I still want to see Swimming taken to a new level. But, I’d like to have some fun, obviously. Spend time with my family and friends. Travel. See the parts of the world I haven’t had a chance to see while training. I don’t know what else. I guess I’ll find out.