I'm far from perfect

Pre-Games interview with Michael Phelps. Seven gold medals? One would make him happy!

In an exclusive interview with King Michael he reveals how he learnt to cook at home, whether he remembers the defeats in the past and the possible future clashes with Alain Bernard in the 100m free.

Michael Phelps, the last time international long-course swimming championships were held in Asia was in 2001. Ian Thorpe surprised the public in Fukuoka back then by flawlessly reciting and translating 39 Japanese words at a press conference. Will you be doing something similar in Beijing?
I won?t be as proficient as Ian. But, sure enough, I?ve been trying to learn Mandarin for a year. I?m far from being able to speak fluently, but hope I?ll be able to say a few words by August.

A lot will be going on around you in Beijing ? how do you prepare for the hype?
Not at all. I don?t worry about it. I just think about my goals and nothing else.

There have been so many World Records already this year ? what do you expect from Beijing?
Ah, what can I say? It?s the most important competition, everyone will want to be fast and everyone will be fast.

The Speedo contract from 2004, which provides you with a million dollars if you win seven Olympic gold medals and thereby equal Mark Spitz? record, also relates to 2008.
Is this benchmark still your goal?
I have never said that my goal is to win seven gold medals. I don?t talk about my goals. All I will say is that I would be happy to win one gold. Not many people win an Olympic gold, and I?ll be proud if, following on from Athens, I can be among the winners again in Beijing.

If you want to read about how World No.1. prepares for the morning finals or you are interested to know why Phelps?s classmates teased him, order the LEN Magazine here!

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