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Michael Phelps: Swimmer Frosts Ryan Seacrest in Latest Olympic Interview

Michael Phelps looks to plot a new storyline in London.
Michael Phelps looks to plot a new storyline in London.Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Sally YoungerContributor IIJuly 28, 2012

Cold even as the torch burned bright, Michael Phelps' interview with Ryan Seacrest—played during NBC's coverage of Friday's opening ceremony—chilled like London fog.

Fourteen times golden, Phelps' studio gab with American Idol's frontman seemed like an exercise in endurance. He looked vexed, his answers curt. 

He looked like a veteran. And that's the problem. 

Yes, the soylent green media has accustomed us to the rise, tear-down, rise-again, then put-out-to-pasture biology of athletes. And as the 2012 London rings just begin to clank, the favoritism cycle is again in full swing. Teeter alert—Beijing's heroes are London's sandwiches.

Tasteless puns aside, should pool titan and Subway spokes-gourmand Phelps beware his pastrami? The ratings leviathan craves fresh meat, and his swim trunks seem to have been caught in its jaws. 

Titles grappled, wrenched, snatched from defeat make the news. Phelps is already the best swimmer we've ever seen. If he doesn't become the Games' most decorated athlete, well, that's news, right?

He appeared exasperated at (yet again) being questioned as to why he wouldn't walk during the Parade of Nations. Eyes flickered and jaw flexed at Seacrest's perfunctory Lochte-as-rival question.

Yes, Ryan Lochte is everywhere. Yes, it's the effervescent Missy Franklin now melting Rowdy Gaines'  heart. Even a  bleacher shot of Debbie is hard to come by lately.

But Phelps has more awesome flip-turns up his sleeve. Win or not, the greatest swimmer of all time can keep the sharks at bay.

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