Michael Phelps Ryan Seacrest Interview: Uncertainty Surrounds Top Swimmer

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 28, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24:  Michael Phelps of the United Sates looks on from the pool deck during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 24, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Ever since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, top American swimmer Michael Phelps has been hammered with questions ranging anywhere from his physical condition to his desire.

In an interview with Ryan Seacrest on Friday, more light was shed on the issue.

The 14-time Olympic gold medalist needs just three more medals in the 2012 London Olympics to be the most decorated Olympian in history, but some are wondering if he can even beat out his own teammate, Ryan Lochte.

Phelps told Seacrest on Friday that he felt much better physically than in the past few years, when his lack of motivation and conditioning was well-documented (per RyanSeacrest.com).

As far as mentally, Phelps didn't seem as sure, saying he had some work to do in that area before the swimming events.

But the concerns surrounding the 27-year-old go far beyond his struggles after the 2008 Summer Games. In the U.S. Olympic trials, he was beaten out by Lochte in the 400-meter individual medley, which sent shockwaves across America and beyond.

Phelps admitted to Seacrest that he "didn't feel that great" at the trials, and he's had to work on his stroke control lately in hopes of getting back to his dominant form. Phelps even went so far as to say he's had to do significant work in the breaststroke.

Every swimmer in the world has things they have to work on headed into the Olympics, but perhaps even the fact that there are question marks surrounding a 14-time Olympic gold medalist is worth noting. Phelps has never had this many doubts leading up to the Olympics, and he's never been under such scrutiny.

Will Phelps prove to be the greatest Olympian in history this summer, or will he go out with an uncharacteristic whimper?

Only Phelps can answer that in London.

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