I wouldn't dream of going so far as to call Michael Phelps a slacker, or even a coaster. Tyler Clary might, but perhaps he's earned that right.
But it's hard to argue that Phelps has been as dedicated to training for the London Games as he was going into Beijing four years ago.
The results showed on Saturday.
After Phelps hung stride-for-stride with Ryan Lochte at the U.S. swim trials, he looked like a normal swimmer in the pool in his first race of the 2012 Olympics.
He didn't have a late push or an early charge, and he doesn't have an Olympic medal from the London Games...yet.
Phelps will have several more opportunities to reach the medal podium, but his training habits are likely why he completed an Olympic event without a medal for the first time since 2000.
"It was just a crappy race," Phelps said following his performance. "I felt fine the first 200, then I don't know. They just swam a better race than me, a smarter race than me, and were better prepared than me. That's why they're on the medal stand."
"I think I'm kind of in shock right now," Lochte said about his finish and Phelps' disappearance. "I know he gave it everything he had. That's all you can ask for."
Kind words from a friend and teammate, but they may not be accurate regarding his preparation.
Perhaps Phelps said it best. The other swimmers were better prepared, an issue some of his teammates saw coming.
Phelps will have the last word on his performance in these Olympics, as he will likely swim in six more events.
He has three more opportunities to become the first male swimmer to earn a gold medal in the same event in three consecutive Olympics, as he's the two-time defending champion in the 200-meter IM, the 100-meter freestyle and the 200-meter butterfly.
For now, he told NBC how he feels.
It's frustrating, that's all I can say. It's pretty upsetting. The biggest thing now is to try to look forward. I have a bunch of other races, and hopefully we can finish a lot better than how we started.