The Olympian is putting on pounds and enjoying the easy life

By Michael Y. Park
December 14, 2008 09:00 AM
Anja Niedringhaus/AP

He may be the most celebrated Olympian of all time, but the only gold Michael Phelps is vying for nowadays is the kind that comes wrapped around a candy bar.

The record-breaking swimmer, who’s won 14 gold medals in his career, admitted to Stephen Colbert on Thursday’s Colbert Report that he’s been taking a break from his rigorous regimen – and is a long way from being the athlete who wowed in Beijing.

“I’m out of shape right now,” a grinning Phelps, 23, told Colbert.

In a previous interview with Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes, Phelps took the reporter on a tour of his apartment, stocked with “bachelor pad” chow like chips, Rice Krispie Treats and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

During the interview, Phelps had a hearty breakfast of Eggs Norfolk with crab meat and a sour-cream quesadilla, and fessed up to scarfing down between 8,000 and 10,000 calories a day – though he can easily lose five to 10 pounds a week. (The recommended dietary intake for the average man is 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day.)

And Phelps said he now weighs 205 pounds. Before that, he said he’d never tipped the scales at over 200.

The man who even practiced for hours on Christmas Day has only been in the pool a handful of times since the Olympics, Phelps said.

“I’m having fun,” he told Cooper.

Phelps plans on resuming training in January to prepare for the 2012 Olympics in London.