Phelps’ Chinese Connections


Learning Chinese is harder than winning gold. It seems nothing is too tough for Michael Phelps, the star of the Beijing Olympics Games, who won eight gold medals in the pool. But, he admits, "Learning Mandarin is harder than winning gold medals."

23-year-old Phelps told China Daily during an interview that learning Mandarin is by far the hardest thing he’s ever done in his life.

Phelps also took French and German courses while in school. He found Chinese more difficult because the student must master Mandarin's unfamiliar characters as well as pronunciations. He came away from the experience speaking little and understand less.

Enjoyed Chinese Barbecue

Food? Well, that's a different story. Phelps didn't need any training in Mandarin to enjoy some delicious Chinese food. On the morning of August 19th, after making Olympic history winning his eighth gold medal, Phelps showed up at the athlete photo-op hosted by his longtime swimsuit partner, Speedo. Before the event started, sitting on a beach chair provided by the event sponsor, Phelps picnicked on some Chinese barbecue served outside while informally posing for the adoring media.

Translated by Chinationreport from China Daily