With the expectation of winning eight gold medals on his shoulders, one would think that Michael Phelps would have a hard time relaxing. Instead, the superstar swimmer is keeping a low-key profile in the Olympics Athletes’ Village – just playing cards and watching movies.
“Are you taking these guys for a ride in poker or what,” Access’ Billy Bush asked Michael on the day before the Olympics Games began.
“Oh, nooo, we haven’t played any poker yet,” Michael corrected him. “We played some in Stanford and I won 40 bucks — a 20 dollar buy in and I won 40 bucks — but you don’t wanna lose any friends over this.”
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Instead, the men’s swimmers are playing Spades, another popular card game. And Michael also says that he’s watching a lot of movies – mostly the Discovery documentary series, “Planet Earth.” He said he planned to watch “Friday” later this evening.
“I’m just trying to swim fast, that’s all I’m doing,” Michael told Billy. “If someone says I can’t do something, I’m excited to prove them wrong.”
“Are you going all out,” Billy asked.
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“It’s all or nothing,” Michael explained.
Like teammate Dara Torres, Michael was also excited to meet the men’s basketball team Wednesday night in the Athletes’ Village.
“I was hanging out with some of them last night it was pretty cool,” Michael said.
“Well, it was funny — they were asking to take pictures with me! And I was like, ‘Whoa, whoa whoa,’ that’s kind of weird [laughing]. I see these guys on SportsCenter all the time.”
Unlike the hoops stars, Michael is staying in the Athletes’ Olympic Village, along with the entire swim team.
“It’s about the experience,” he explained. “I never got to live in a college dorm, and it’s kind of like that.”
Michael’s first event is Saturday morning, so he’ll be skipping the Olympics Opening Ceremonies on Friday evening (as will Torres).
And then, Billy came at him with the more hard-hitting questions:
“When does this go,” Billy asked, referring (and pointing) to Michael’s now famous Fu Manchu mustache.
“Probably tonight or tomorrow,” Michael said. “Yeah, so it’s out of here pretty soon. Isn’t that great? It’s gonna be a news story!”
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