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Mom makes sure Phelps not yet saying arrivederci

August 17, 2008 | 12:33 am

Michael Phelps with his mother Debbie, left. BEIJING -- Michael Phelps can't stop swimming until at least next year.

"My mom has told me that I better make the [2009 U.S. world championship team], because she wants to go to Rome," Phelps told a news conference Sunday, two hours after winning his eighth gold medal.

"I have the pressure from the mom, so I guess we have to get back into it and make that happen."

The biennial world meet returns to the Italian capital next year. It took place there in 1994, when it still was a quadrennial event.

The "we" Phelps refers to is he and coach Bob Bowman, who have temporarily exhausted the reserves built by years of intense workouts.

"Bob has a saying, 'Putting money in the bank,' " Phelps said. "You train every day, and sometimes there are workouts you don't like to do, [but] Bob is always saying, 'This is money in the bank.' At the end of the year, you are able to make a big withdrawal.

"I guess we put a lot of money in the bank over the past few years, and we withdrew pretty much every penny. So, after Bob and I have a little break, it's time to start redepositing."

After all, Rome isn't cheap, especially with the weak dollar.

-- Philip Hersh

Photo: Michael Phelps with his mother, Debbie, left, after the medal ceremony for the men's 4x100-meter medley relay final. Credit: Itsuo Inouye / Associated Press

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