NEW YORK — Olympic great Michael Phelps admits to a different sort of gold run —his habit of peeing in the pool.
The champion swimmer, who is retiring from competitive swimming after his success in the London Olympics, told the Wall Street Journal that professional swimmers didn’t bother clambering out to search for a toilet.
“I think everybody pees in the pool,” he said in the brief video interview. “It’s kind of a normal thing to do with swimmers. You know, when we’re in the water for two hours we don’t really get out, you know, to pee. We just go whenever we’re on the wall. Chlorine kills it so it’s not bad.”
Bolt loves United
Well, he’s not bad with his feet.
Everyone wants to know what the world’s fastest man is going to do after the London Olympics. How about playing a little soccer for Manchester United?
Usain Bolt, who won a gold medal in the 100 meters Sunday, said afterward that he would like to play for one of the Premier League’s heavyweights.
“People think I am joking, but if (United coach) Alex Ferguson called me up and said, ‘OK, let’s do this, come and have a trial,’ it would be impossible for me to say no,” Bolt said.
But the Jamaican sprinter said he wouldn’t do it unless he believed he had the skills to be a factor on the field.
“I would not take up the challenge if I didn’t think I was good enough,” Bolt said. “I am in Britain for a few more days. If Alex Ferguson wants to give me a call, he knows where I am.”
Roger Bannister never won an Olympic gold, but he left a mark that no one would ever forget: breaking the four-minute mile.
Most of the athletes in London’s 1,500 meter race — the metric mile — are far faster today than he was. Still, he can’t help but analyze the race, which he watched in the Olympic stands with two-time Olympic 1,500m champion and London Games chief Sebastian Coe.
He watched as Taoufik Makhloufi broke away down the stretch to take the Olympic gold medal, the one prize he never collected. His time? 3 minutes, 34.08 seconds. Good enough for gold, but far from the world record.
“It’s very unusual to get world records broken when there are 12 runners,” said Bannister, 83. “The concern today is to win the race. The time is purely secondary. If the time becomes too slow, then it’s disappointing for everyone. So this was just about in between.”
Cable ratings win
Fueled by basketball and soccer, the NBC Sports cable network had its best ratings of the Olympics so far Monday.
The US men’s basketball game against Argentina was seen by 3.3 million people during the day, the Nielsen company said. The women’s soccer game between the US and Canada had just under 3 million.
In prime-time, the NBC telecast was seen by 26.6 million viewers, virtually identical to the 26.4 million who watched the same night from Beijing four years ago.
The high jump medals ceremony will have a packed podium.
Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, Derek Drouin of Canada and Robert Grabarz of Britain finished in a three-way tie for the bronze medal, rare but not unheard of in the event.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Barshim, who earned his country’s fourth medal ever. “We are all brothers. We are high jumpers, one family. We share the happiness, too.”
The last time three high jumpers shared a podium spot at the Olympics was in 1992, when Hollis Conway (US), Timothy Forsyth (Australia) and Artur Partyka (Poland) all earned bronze medals. It also happened in 1908, when Georges Andre (France), Cornelius Leahy (Britain/Ireland) and Istvan Somodi (Hungary) tied for silver.
Barshim, Drouin and Grabarz were to get their medals Wednesday night. “It’s going to be tight for space up there, but it’s going to be fun,” Grabarz said.
Not a bribe
No, the money that Team USA coach Mihai Brestyan handed to the judges Tuesday wasn’t a bribe. It’s the cost of appealing a scoring decision.
When Aly Raisman was given a 14.966 on her balance beam routine, Brestyan had to make a snap decision.
Under FIG rules, a coach can challenge a score if he or she thinks the difficulty mark of the routine was calculated incorrectly. But to prevent coaches from filing an inquiry on everything, FIG requires an upfront payment. The first inquiry costs $300, the second $500 and the third costs $1,000.
If the initial score is upheld, the coach loses that money and it goes to the FIG Foundation. If the inquiry results in a scoring change, like it did for Raisman in propelling her to a bronze medal, the coach gets that money back.
Needed: An extra medal
How many medals do Olympic authorities have lying around at venues? Enough, I guess.
At the London Velodrome, they had to rustle up an extra bronze when Teun Mulder of the Netherlands and Simon van Velthoven of New Zealand crossed the line in a dead heat for third in the keirin. I don’t know if there was any behind-the-scenes scrambling, but by the time the medal presentation came around, both men got theirs. — Agencies