More Questions with Michael Phelps

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TIME's interview with the Olympic swimmer continues on Read these extra questions with Michael Phelps.

Do you listen to music prior to your race to get yourself in the right mood to crush your opponents? If so, what do you listen to? —Lance Scadden, Madison, Wisc.
I listen to hip hop and rap to sort of help me get focused, to get ready to get up and do what I'm there do. It helps me to tune everything out, and take one step at time. A lot of the new stuff is what I have on my MP3 player. I don't really have any favorites, but right now, it might be Young Jeezy; I just listen to whatever comes on.

How do you contend with the psychological challenge of counting laps or lengths? What does God mean to you? —Paul Casey, Dublin, Ireland
When I race, I don't think about it, it just happens. When I workout, I just think of it as something you do and something I've done the past 14 years, so guess it's just a natural thing your body is just used to.

What does God mean to me? That's the question? I guess I was made this way for some reason, and I've been able to find the talent I have, and I've been able to use it, so I'm grateful for that. I believe in God; I'm not saying I'm highly religious. I used to always go to church on holidays, but I don't go much any more.

What do you eat for breakfast? —Louise DeMartini, Provo, Utah
It depends. Usually before practice, cereal or oatmeal. After practice, it's eggs, and a bunch of protein.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done? —Clara Lind, Wausau, WI
The craziest thing I've ever done? I live a pretty conservative life, so I probably really haven't done anything crazy.

Tell us about dating. Do you or would you date other swimmers? —Kay Claude, Muncie, IN
[Laughs.] If I do, it's kept on the down low. I try to separate my personal life from swimming.

How did it feel to see the swim meets broadcast on a major network during prime time in Australia? And what do you think about the chances of something like that happening in the US? —Miky Sparke, Brisbane, Australia
That's something I think all us would love to happen in the U.S. But it is hard. There are so many other high profile sports, like football, basketball and baseball, that it's tough to put swimming events on prime time because other sports have so much time. Our best chance to be able to have that, will be for Olympic Games next year in Beijing.

How high a priority is education for you? I ask this because swimmers - in contrast to football players- can't live the rest of their life of the money the get from their sport. —Charlotte Hansen, Denmark
I do plan on getting a college education. That's one thing I would like to do. Right now, swimming is the #1 priority for me. I'm not going to have this career forever, so I think I should take advantage of what I have, what I'm possibly capable of doing over the next year and years to come.

My dad is a dedicated Masters swimmer in Ann Arbor who has been swimming hard every day of his life for the past 40 years. He is pushing 60 now, and still pushes himself to the limit in every workout. How can I convince him to back off? —Laura Arneson, Salt Lake City, Utah
Right now, I'm taking it easy so even elite swimmers do take small breaks and allow their muscles to recover from everything. I will say swimming is a great form of exercise, and you do get a lot out of it. Good for him that he's still going strong, and able to hop in the water, able to do what he loves. It's a fun sport, so I'm glad he's still doing it.