<
>

Aug. 20: The Wide World of Phelps

From ESPN.com Olympics editor Joy Russo:

Like Eli Manning, the Celtics' big three and David Cook before him, Michael Phelps has been swooped up and swept off on a whirlwind tour of interviews and sponsorship appearances that would make any mortal's head spin.

So, where has the past few days taken Aquaman?

Cue the "Wayne's World" flashback sound ... deedeloo, deedeloo, deedeloo ...

Michael PhelpsEzra Shaw/Getty Images

When we last saw our swim-capped crusader (on national television, at least), he was leaping tall photographers in a single bound, trying to reach his mother and two sisters after winning his eighth gold medal of the Beijing Games.

Michael PhelpsBob Donnan/US Presswire`

Within a few hours of that "private" moment, Phelpsie was whisked away to another poorly lit press conference room to answer questions he'll wind up answering about 100 more times before the first week of the rest of his life is out. As humble as Mikey seemed, we have to imagine all of this was about as fun as root-canal work.

Michael PhelpsGetty Images for Speedo

Next stop: Wish. The location of the Speedo Athletes Party. No word yet if this was the exact location of the $1 million bonus handoff.

Michael PhelpsMark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Now, back to our sponsors ... Phelps makes an appearance for Visa. He received a nice, shiny card and was back at it, answering those questions. No official count on how many times Phelpsie said he can't wait to get home to Baltimore and see his dog.

[+] EnlargeMichael PhelpsPeter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Phelps: "I'm off serious training until February. Burgers and fries for everyone!"

Michael Phleps and LeBron JamesGetty Images

LeBron: "Hey Mike, thanks for coming by. How do you see through these things?"

Phelps: "No problem, man. It's the least I can do after you and Kobe came out to see me swim. It's not that hard. Besides, I have X-ray vision."

LeBron: "Any interest in moving to Cleveland? I am not convinced this Mo Williams trade is going to work."

Michael PhelpsKristian Dowling/Getty Images

"I just can't wait to get back to Baltimore and see my dog, Herman."

Michael PhelpsGetty Images for Speedo

Another Speedo event, sans shirt and cap. Insert cheesy song here; take your pick:

"I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred

"I Want You To Want Me" by Cheap Trick

"Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" by Rod Stewart

"Maneater" by Hall & Oates

"Afternoon Delight" (please, people ... only the Will Ferrell version)

"Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer

"If You Wanna Be My Lover" by Spice Girls

Michael Phelps and Ian ThorpeAP Photo/Photopress/Alexandra Wey

"Hey, Thorpedo! Didn't think I could break the record, huh? HOW DO YA LIKE ME NOW?!"

Disney WorldJoe Raedle/Getty Images

Phelps left Beijing on Wednesday night to head to London, where he'll help hand over the Summer Games from China to the 2012 host city during Sunday's Closing Ceremony. Here's one guess where he may head next, just like Eli.