Michael Phelps Shares Secrets for Success in New Book

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 11, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Michael Phelps is a bona fide superstar. He made the Olympic team before he could drive and went on to win 14 gold medals by the time he was 23. He's one of the greatest athletes in the world, and even his fellow competitors are convinced he's not human.

In his book "No Limits: The Will to Succeed," Michael highlights his journey for a young boy with learning disabilities to an American icon, featured on magazine covers, cereal boxes. And reading his book, by the way, you come to realize that, at the heart of Phelps, is just an average hard-working American who followed his dream and became an inspiration for millions.

It is a great honor to meet you.


Video: Watch Sean & Alan's interview

HANNITY: How are you doing?

PHELPS: Good, good.

HANNITY: I saw you on Jay Leno last night. How did you get out here so quick?


PHELPS: No, not a chance. Not right now. I'm out of shape right now. I just took the direct red eye back here. I've been working all day.

HANNITY: Now — first of all, I read the amount of calories you were eating. The pasta. How many calories a day?

PHELPS: There's so many stories about how many — how much I really eat. I mean, someone says 12,000.

HANNITY: But what's it really?

PHELPS: It's really, like, when I'm really hard training, it's anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000.

HANNITY: It's unbelievable.

PHELPS: I just try to get — I get everything I need. But then I also get — you know, I can fluctuate between 5 and 10 pounds in a week. So I just have to eat as much as I can.

HANNITY: Well, I followed all the races in this year's Olympics, and my whole family was cheering you on. There was that one race. Just by a touch.

PHELPS: The 100 fly.

HANNITY: Wow. That was...

PHELPS: Right place at the right time, I guess.

HANNITY: And the guy, it seemed like he had you...

PHELPS: Yes. The final lap.

HANNITY: Until the touch. Explain what happened, because I still didn't understand it. What happened?

PHELPS: Well, at the finish, you know, I was able to take a sort of little half stroke, and that was the difference, and I thought that cost me the race.


PHELPS: But at — you know, at this point it was, you know, I had to take that stroke, you know, because if I would have glided in, Cavic definitely would have won the race.

HANNITY: Are you definitely thinking — like, I'm looking at that kick. I mean, it's — it's amazing how strong you are in the water. How many hours were you training before the Olympics?

PHELPS: I probably was going, probably anywhere from five to seven, six to eight hours...

HANNITY: In the pool...

PHELPS: Not in the pool, but — it was in the pool but also, you know, doing weights, cardio...

HANNITY: If I'm in the pool for an hour with my kids, I turn into a prune. I mean, it's...

PHELPS: I've been doing this for a while so I don't prune up anymore.

HANNITY: You don't prune up anymore?

PHELPS: Not any more.

HANNITY: Your body's used to it?


HANNITY: A lot of lotion to get to the — well, let me ask you this. How are you dealing with — first of all, the book's a great inspiration, "No Limits: The Will to Succeed." If you're willing to be in the pool eight hours a day, you're willing to be successful.

How are you dealing with the aftermath of all of this? First of all, it's great to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but...

COLMES: "Hannity & Colmes."

HANNITY: Yes. You know, you have all these girls after you, I've noticed. Every — you're in every gossip column that I read out there. How do you like this — this side of it, now that you're a big...?

PHELPS: Well, it's different. You know, it's — it's funny. You know, you see how things can get so blown out of proportion just from like being friends with somebody, you know.

COLMES: What have you read — what have you read — what's the wildest thing you've read about yourself that turned out not to be true?

PHELPS: You know, 70 percent of it. Eight percent of it.

COLMES: Don't believe anything you read.

PHELPS: I mean, not really.

COLMES: Your name is Michael Phelps, though? That we can give you.

PHELPS: That's the only thing I can really tell you there.

COLMES: What I understand, though, getting back to the food now, is this true? Three-egg omelet for breakfast, plus a bowl of grits, three pieces of French toast, three chocolate-chip pancakes, three fried egg sandwiches with cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onions and mayo?

PHELPS: Probably before — before I moved from Michigan — or from Baltimore to Michigan about four years ago, four or five years ago, I used to eat that almost every morning.

COLMES: What do you have for dessert?

PHELPS: A nap.

COLMES: A nap.

PHELPS: I go and take a nap.

COLMES: And that would be your breakfast?

PHELPS: Yes. Probably five or six mornings a week.

COLMES: How do you even gear up to eat that? I mean...

PHELPS: I mean, after like, you know, a two-hour workout in the morning, you're starving. I mean, like, you need calories. And you know, it's the easiest way to just throw a bunch of stuff in your system. You're tired after you eat it. You go home and sleep.

COLMES: What's interesting, what's inspirational about this book, too, is how you talk about how you had ADD, and you felt as a kid the pool was a safe place to be.

PHELPS: Well, you know, it's — it's — I'm still a very, like, hyperactive child. But...

COLMES: You still have ADD?

HANNITY: See, I have LDD, Liberal Derangement Disorder. I don't like liberals.

COLMES: Yes, because when I'm around him, he gets deranged.

HANNITY: That's right. It's true.

COLMES: So — so the pool was a safe place, right?

PHELPS: I was able to, you know, really calm down and focus when I was in the pool. And, you know, when I was in middle school I, you know, found a way to, you know, turn that into anything that I did, you know, whether it was in the classroom, whether it was on the playing field. You know, I was able to do that. And that's when I sort of told my mom I didn't want to take Ritalin anymore; I wanted to do it all on my own. And...

COLMES: I liked the way that you could channel this and — into what you've done.

PHELPS: Yes. You know — and it's something I love, and it's something I was talented in and found at a very young age. And, you know, I was able to channel, you know, all my emotions and everything into the sport. And, you know, after doing that, I figured well, I can do this in anything I do. And was able to just...

COLMES: Now that you've done this, now what do you want to do now? You've got the medals; you've got the endorsements; you've got the book. What do you want to do now?

PHELPS: Well, you know, my goal is still to change sports swimming more. You know, it has come a long way from four years ago, but — even, you know, from when I started swimming, it's come so far.

COLMES: You want to make it more mainstream?


COLMES: Inspire people.

PHELPS: And NBC has actually picked up world championships next year, the senior nationals the year after that, and world championships the year after that, right before the Olympics.

COLMES: And you also work with kids, don't you? Just kids...

PHELPS: I do. I work with Pathfinders for Autism and also the Boys and Girls Club of America. So and...

COLMES: That's great. Terrific how you're using your celebrity.

PHELPS: And just started a foundation, too. So I have a lot of stuff going on, and I'm loving it right now.

COLMES: Thank you much for being here.

PHELPS: Thank you very much.

COLMES: Appreciate it very much.

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