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Phelps enjoys sidelines

The Olympic swimming superstar is attending the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

“I think it’s cool to be a spectator,” Phelps said in an interview. “I’ve competed at three summer Olympics and it’s nice to see the other side of it. You know what they’re going through because you’ve lived it, so to see how they react and compete is really special.”

The 24-year-old American swimmer who has amassed 14 gold medals and two bronze medals in the past two summer Games, arrived in Vancouver to make some appearances for Olympic sponsor Omega.

He’s not an expert on winter sports but knows the names of several U.S. hockey players, including forward Chris Drury, from playing the video game NHL Hitz. He also attended the University of Michigan with U.S. defenceman Jack Johnson and they used to lift weights together.

Phelps’ quest to compete in the 2012 London Olympics and become the winningest Olympian of all time has him spending more time training out of the pool than in the past, with yoga, Pilates, running, boxing exercises and weightlifting becoming a more important part of his daily regimen.

“The big thing is to keep it more interesting and do some things that are not normal for swimmers. It’s needed after you’ve been staring at a black line [under water] for 14 years.”

Michael Phelps Becomes Youth Olympic Games Ambassador

Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps today became the first official Ambassador of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

The 16-time Olympic medallist, who is visiting Vancouver to catch some of the Olympic Winter Games action, will support the Youth Olympic Games by encouraging the involvement of young people around the world.

Michael Phelps said “The Youth Olympic Games is an excellent initiative, not only for the athletes competing, but also those who are inspired to get into sport and be more active. I am delighted that I have been given the opportunity to become the first official Ambassador of the Youth Olympic Games, and can’t wait to get working with the YOG team to promote the first event this summer!”