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Michael Phelps discusses tightest race in Beijing

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Immediately following the Jets' spanking of the Broncos Sunday, Michael Phelps will talk on "60 Minutes" about how he won the 100-meter butterfly in Beijing.

Click above for a video excerpt, and below for a written account.From CBS:

A small mistake made by his opponent was the difference Michael Phelps needed to win his seventh gold medal on his way to the single Olympic record of eight, reveals the U.S. Olympic superstar swimmer. Moreover, it came at the perfect time: Phelps was exhausted and “had nothing left” after winning his sixth gold the day before, he tells CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The interview with Phelps will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Nov. 30 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Phelps won his seventh gold medal to tie Mark Spitz in the 100-meter butterfly by just one one-hundredth of a second – a victory aided by the mistake made by runner-up Milorad Cavic of Serbia, says Phelps. “He’s picking up his head, so it’s acting like a speed bump,” Phelps says, pointing to the photo of the race’s finish. “So he’s coming up and then trying to lift his head before he touches the wall…[my head] is in a straight streamline. So that’s the difference in the race,” he tells Cooper. “If his head is down, he wins…hands down, wins the race.”

But before tying Spitz, Phelps, who had won six gold medals in six races, felt he was running out of gas. “I remember saying, ‘I got nothing left,’” says Phelps after winning the 200-meter individual medley on August 15 in Beijing. Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, saw it on his face. “If you look at the pictures right after the race and even when I was standing there and he was in the water, I thought, ‘Wow, he is really tired right now.’”

Nevertheless, he went on to make history when he, along with his teammates, won gold in the 4x100 meter medley relay the next day. It was his eighth gold of the Beijing Games, the first time any athlete has ever won that many gold medals in a single Olympics.

When Cooper spoke to Phelps, the 6-feet-4 inch swimmer weighed 205 lbs., the heaviest he’s ever been, he tells Cooper. But it’s not because he’s eating the rumored 12,000 calories per day talked about so often during the Beijing Games. “[The 12,000 calories a day] is not true,” says Phelps. It’s more like eight to 10,000 calories a day when he’s training, he says. It’s still a lot and Phelps says when he in training, it’s necessary. “I have to always just constantly shovel food in because I can lose anywhere from five to 10 pounds in a week."

Phelps is not training right now, but plans to resume the grueling daily schedule that made him the best in the world in January. He will be preparing for the London Olympics in 2012.

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