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Phelps Plunges Into YES’s Pool

YES has struck Olympic gold on CenterStage.

The interview series, hosted by the regional sports network’s New York Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay, will feature gold-medalist swimmer Michael Phelps on Jan. 12. Filmed at Manhattan Center Studios on Dec. 12, the Phelps show is scheduled to premiere immediately after the New Jersey Nets-Oklahoma City Thunder post-game show Monday night, at approximately 10:30 p.m. (ET). It will then encore on the network.

Over the course of the one-hour show, Phelps, who won an Olympic-record eight gold medals in Beijing, touches on a number of subjects, ranging from his caloric intake (he only eats a ton of food at breakfast) to his first purchase after setting a world record as a professional (his mom let him buy a decked out Escalade). Phelps also discussed his DUI arrest after the Athens Olympics (“a mistake that I made, something that really changed my life”) and his bet with his coach Bob Bowman after winning the 2003 Summer Nationals.

Sports Illustrated
’s "2008 Sportsman of Year" and Kay also dished about how some of his friends reacted to his success in Beijing: “I’m always on my phone and I was getting text messages left and right from high school friends.  They said “I don’t want to look at your face anymore.”  “I’m not going to watch TV until the Olympics are over.”  

As for his hosting Saturday Night Live, Phelps didn’t quite realize what he got himself into:

“...I can do that and asked my agent, then I was like, wait a minute. That’s live, isn’t it? I got there Monday or Tuesday and worked from then till Saturday, eight to 12 hours every day, going through scripts. I remember sitting around the table reading 50 or 60 different scripts, with all the cast members, everyone working on the set... making sure all the wigs and the costumes and the set and the props and there’s so much work that goes into it, it’s pretty amazing. I felt like a fish out of water a little bit just because you really don’t see a swimmer sitting on TV telling jokes, but it was a cool experience.”

He also provided some background on the “costuming” in the "Guitar Hero" commercial he appears in with Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez and Tony Hawk.

“A-Rod and Kobe shot together and then Tony and I shot together," he said. "I was talking to Kobe the next day and he goes, ‘Make sure they don’t put you in tighty whities,’ and I was like, no,. I won’t be in them. But he was saying A-Rod was completely comfortable with it. I was like, no, Speedo’s are fine with me.”

During the show's "Hit and Run" segment, Kay elicited quick responses to such queries as: coolest Olympian met in Beijing (Rafael Nadal; favorite sports team (Baltimore Ravens); swimming hero (Pablo Morales); favorite film (Tommy Boy and Billy Madison); favorite musician (“I can’t really put it on one. Lil Wayne, Geezy, Biggie. I’m a hip-hop guy.”); and, what he had for breakfast the day of the taping (“A piece of toast. That’s all I ate this morning. I literally got up as late as I could, so I didn’t have much time to eat.”).