Olympian Tyler Clary was not impressed by Michael Phelps’ work ethic during the year they trained together at the University of Michigan, reports The Press-Enterprise‘s Jim Alexander.
“I saw a real lack of preparation,” Clary told Alexander. “Basically, he was a swimmer that didn’t want to be there. They can talk about all of these goals and plans and preparation they have. I saw it. I know. It’s different. And I saw somebody that has basically been asking to get beat for the longest time.”
Clary swam at Michigan for three seasons, and Phelps used the pool while his coach, Bob Bowman, led the Wolverines from 2005 to 2008.
Phelps has admitted that after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he stopped working hard for a while. He would skip practices and slack off at the ones he did attend.
But Phelps, a 14-time Olympic medalist, has rounded back into shape recently and will be swimming in seven events at the Olympics this summer. He beat Clary in the 400-meter individual medley and the 200-meter butterfly at the Olympic Trials.
“I’ve always called myself more of a blue-collar worker, as far as swimming goes,” Clary said. “I work my (butt) off all the time. That’s not to say that everybody else doesn’t. But the fact that I know I work harder than he does makes me appreciate every little goal and every little gain that I make.
“And the day that it happens, when I finally beat him, is going to be a huge deal in my mind, because it would be complete satisfaction. And the only thing that would be better than that is breaking the world record.”