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Phelps wants to be like basketball's M.J.

Sept. 3, 2008 at 10:50 AM   |   Comments

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CHICAGO, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Olympic swimming sensation Michael Phelps says he wants to pattern his post-Games career after that of another Michael, basketball great Michael Jordan.

In Chicago Wednesday for an appearance with fellow U.S. team members on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Phelps said he has been a longtime admirer of Jordan because of the way Jordan changed basketball, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Phelps announced he plans to devote part of the $1 million bonus he received from Speedo to a foundation aimed at expanding swimming.

"I'm trying to really grow the sport of swimming and take it to a new level," the 23-year-old Phelps said. "What (Jordan) did for the sport of basketball, hopefully I can learn from him a little bit and take what he did and put it into swimming."

Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, said swimming has brought him mental health in addition to financial wealth.

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