Michael Phelps, Bob Bowman Talk to Media Before Final Meet

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LONDON, England, July 26. COMMENTS from Michael Phelps and Bob Bowman during press conference prior to the 2012 London Olympics.

Michael PHELPS (USA)

On whether his physical condition is as good as it was at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games:
“It's hard to compare myself now to then. The goals are different. Going into Beijing we were trying to conquer everything. I have only dropped one event but we have been a lot more relaxed for the last four years and we are having fun.”

“Recovery is more important now than it was then.”

“Everything there (Beijing 2008) was perfect. Everything leading up to it was perfect. Sure I have had some bumps in the road (since then).”

“I am trying to sleep as much as I can. It will be a very filled week with a lot of things to do. I have to make sure I stay on top of it.”

On what keeps him motivated:
“How many toppings do I want on my sundae? I am having fun. My goals are keeping motivated. I am excited. It is kind of annoying sitting around and waiting the whole time. As soon as we are in the village, we want to compete.”

On what it means to him to achieve all the records:
“This is very exciting for me to be back at the Olympics and to be able to represent my country. You guys (the media) are the ones that keep bringing up the medal count. I have never once in my career brought up medal counts.”

“I can control this myself. I am going to get in the water and race as hard as I can and if anything happens, it happens. When I retire it will mean a lot more.”

“I have had moments. I wouldn't say I got choked up but these are the last moments I will have in my career. There will be a lot of firsts and a lot of lasts in the next week.”

On life at the Olympic Games (in general, not just London 2012):
“I walked out this morning from the cafeteria and walked past three female Russian athletes that were all taller than me.”

“One of the coolest things about the Olympics is that people from all over the world come together. They are the best. We get to step up and compete for the Stars and Stripes. There are a lot of people back home who are behind us and we feel that.”

On how he will manage to control his emotional energy:
“It will be very challenging. That is why I have been kind of sitting around. I have been able to learn how to contain it a little bit. I won't be holding back when I am in the venue but when I am away from it, I am trying to control it as best I can.”

On what makes a superstar:
“It's a combination of everything. You have to have a great work ethic. Have a strong mind, be motivated. There are so many things that come into it. I have a decent package so I can't complain.”

On earlier comments by teammate Tyler CLARY (USA) that PHELPS had been coasting on his natural talents:
“Some people like to express their feelings in words. I like to do it through hard work. Bob (BOWMAN, USA) knows that I have done that. If someone else does not think that, it doesn't matter.”

“Tyler said everything was taken out of context, he has apologised. I said he doesn't need to say anything. He sat in my room for 10 minutes talking about it. He did not need to do that. Whatever you say, you say. I spent a year at school with Tyler. We have known each other for a long time. In Team USA we have always come into the competition as one and left as one.”

On whether he has offered any advice to Missy FRANKLIN (USA) on how to handle the pressure of competing in multiple events:
“I have told her if she needs anything, to come to me. I said she could ask me, she could text me, ask any questions. She hasn't.”

“This week is going to be a completely different experience for her. But I don't understand how these girls have so much energy. It is non-stop.”

“If Missy can control her emotional energy, that is going to be a very tough part of it. It does add up. I noticed in (Beijing) 08 I got super-tired and super-run down. I am sure her and Todd SCHMITZ (USA) have prepared herself for what is going to happen next week. I am sure she will be fine.”

On previous comments that he would never swim the 400m individual medley again:
“I have said a number of times throughout my career over the last four years that I would never do it again. Moving into the trials, we were attempting to do some things for training purposes. If I was on track for that event, I was going to give the trials a shot. I figured out in my head what it would take to make the team in the 400m IM.”

“It has been part of my programme for so long. I started watching videos of the 2004 and 2008 400m IM. It just brought back the excitement. I was very pleased with the trials. Bob and I have been talking about some things we can change.”

“It's going to be a lot more painful this time around than four years ago, I can tell you that.”

On whether swimming multiple events is more physically or mentally exhausting:
“It's one of the tough things with having semifinals. You really have to, I don't want to say hold back, you have to put yourself in a good position, you have to work out how much energy it is going to take to do that. Moving on into the finals is obviously the main goal. You have to save some stuff up. I have a long meet and a lot of swimming. It is knowing how much to put into every race and going from there.”

On starting his programme on the opening night with the 400m individual medley, an event in which he has been defeated recently and that he was not sure he was going to swim:
“Everything we have done has never been easy. It is always a challenge to have things go perfectly. For the very first night it is going to be a challenging race. It is going to be an exciting race.”

“Everything feels good. My strokes are starting to feel better and better. This is something I have been looking forward to for a while. You can guarantee it is going to be loud in there opening night.”

Bob BOWMAN (USA) — coach

In response to the question to PHELPS about what makes a superstar:
“All coaching. Next question.”

“He (PHELPS) has the physical attributes, which I think many people have. He was fortunate enough to grow up in a club with a good tradition of excellence, he had great support from his family. He has the psychological ability to focus under pressure and to use his energy wisely.”

On the difference in PHELPS at London 2012 and Beijing 2008:
“Michael is different and so am I. We are just not so uptight about it. I don't think it has been in a way that takes away from what he is doing in the pool. It has enhanced it.”

“To a degree I think he has made some significant progress since the trials. We have both enjoyed this time in between (the trials and London 2012) and I am looking forward to it.”

On PHELPS starting his programme on the opening night with the 400m individual medley, an event that he has been beaten in recently and that he was not sure he was going to swim:
“For someone who wants to promote the sport of swimming, there is not a better way than for him to swim that race. It will be a very tough race. It will be a coach's dream and I think a spectator's dream.” (PHELPS interjects: “Maybe not a swimmer's dream.”)

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