As I said, I love the Olympics, and this volleyball fan has also become quite enamored with the sport of swimming.

I have watched breathlessly as Michael Phelps has proudly represented the United States.

I have screamed at the television, hoping I alone can urge him ahead to be victorious once more.

At first, I thought such behavior was a bit odd.

It’s not like yelling at the television actually helps, but it makes me feel good.

On Saturday, I learned I’m not alone.

I was attending a wedding reception near McPherson.

When Phelps entered the water in hopes of earning his eighth gold medal of the 2008 Olympic Games, the entire reception came to a standstill.

Everyone crowed around the lone television and cheered one of the best Olympians of all times to victory.

It was a very special and powerful moment.

I had never experienced a sporting moment where so many people genuinely cared and were proud and happy of their team’s athlete.

Just like millions across the country, we all were a part of history, and that is something I will never forget.

To his credit, Phelps now has 16 career Olympic medals, with eight of his 14 gold medals coming in the Beijing Games.

Both achievements are records, and the 23-year-old swimmer that has to be at least part dolphin has more to come.

He should see at least one more round of Olympic competition when the summer

Olympic Games kick off in London in 2012.

Besides watching him swim, though, I also enjoy watching Phelps be interviewed and cheer on his teammates.

The man is incredibly humble, and he admits he owes some of his success to his medley teammates.

He gets just as excited when they win as when he does, and when reporters talk to him, Phelps never brags. He just says he is thankful and is speechless because he is so happy.

That is nothing like those Jamaican sprinters that brazenly showboated after winning their races.

Such a lack of sportsmanship makes the likes of Phelps and team U.S.A. look even better.

I am proud to cheer for them, especially Phelps.

Of course, just as incredible as his swimming prowess is his ability to consume.

It has been reported that Phelps eats 12,000 calories a day.

According to reports, he eats three loaded fried-egg sandwiches for breakfast, which he washes down with two cups of coffee, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast and three chocolate-chip pancakes.

Then, it has been reported, that for lunch he engulfs a pound of pasta with two loaded ham and cheese sandwiches and 1,000 calories of energy drinks.

For supper, Phelps chows down on another pound of pasta, an entire pizza and 1,000 more calories of energy drinks, according to reports.

Hearing that has made me start to count calories.

Thanks a lot, Phelps.

Knowing how much an Olympic athlete eats does bring to mind another question.

How many times a day does he defecate?

Surely he must squeeze in bathroom time between eating, swimming and sleeping, right?

I guess that is probably one of the questions best left unanswered.

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