Four years ago in Beijing, when Michael Phelps wasn't amazing us with the preposterous things he was pulling off in a swimming pool, the stories about his compulsive eating habits were.
His diet appeared to resemble that of a competitive eater rather than a record-breaking Olympian, and its ascendance from the sports world into pop culture lore all but signaled the diet's legendary status. And that's understandable. After all, Phelps was reportedly devouring a mind-boggling 12,000 calories per day.
But now Phelps is saying all the reports about his diet, to borrow a line from Mark Twain, have been greatly exaggerated. The 14-time Olympic gold medalist appeared on Ryan Seacrest's radio show on Wednesday, and when Seacrest asked Phelps if he still had a mammoth diet, Phelps went into myth-busting mode.
"I never ate that much," Phelps said. "It’s all a myth. I’ve never eaten that many calories. I wish. It’s just too much though. It would be impossible."
This is probably a good thing. Anytime you're housing a pound of pasta and an entire pizza for dinner it can't be for the better. Although, we just wish Phelps could have cleared this up before we had to endure this lousy sketch from his episode of SNL.
Hear Seacrest's full interview with Phelps here.