Phelps in NYC to boost youth swimming

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">United States&#39; Michael Phelps celebrates after winning his 8th gold medal after the men&#39;s 4x100-meter medley relay final during the swimming competitions in the National Aquatics Center at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2008. &#40;AP Photo&#47;David J. Phillip&#41;</span></div>
August 28, 2008 1:55:12 PM PDT
Michael Phelps wants everyone in the pool. A day after returning to the United States from his Olympic triumphs, the 14-time gold medalist jumped into a YMCA swimming pool Thursday and gave pointers to kids about their strokes.

"This is a great place to get started on my next goal, my next dream of trying to get more people involved in the sport of swimming but also more people involved in exercising," Phelps said.

Phelps joined officials from Visa, one of his sponsors, in presenting a $20,000 grant to the YMCA of Greater New York to support youth swimming programs.

Scores of reporters and photographers crowded around Phelps for a news conference at the McBurney YMCA in Manhattan.

Phelps answered questions politely, then changed into swimming trunks for a dip in the pool.

The 23-year-old won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics this month.

In his first 24 hours back on American soil, he appeared in New York with Tiger Woods at a golf promotional event and ate a hot dog and a pretzel from a street vendor. He also was filming a cameo for the HBO series "Entourage."

His upcoming schedule will include an appearance at MTV's Video Music Awards on Sept. 7 and a gig hosting "Saturday Night Live" on Sept. 13.

"It's going to be interesting," Phelps said of his "SNL" duties. "I hope I'm literally not a fish out of water in that one."

Phelps said he hadn't had a chance to speak to Mark Spitz, the swimming legend whose seven gold medals in 1972 had been the Olympic record, since he broke that record.

Asked how he would have matched up against Spitz in his prime, Phelps said, "I have no idea."

"He swam in a different era," Phelps added. "They didn't have the high-technology suits and goggles and faster pools."


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