Phelps takes call from Obama

Posted at 08/02/2012 7:51 PM

LONDON - US President Barack Obama decided a personal tweet to Michael Phelps wasn't enough, so he surprised the US Olympic swimming star with a personal phone call at the London Games.

"The craziest thing was just when I answered the phone and they were like, 'Michael?' And I said: 'Yes.'

"And they said: 'Please hold for the President of the United States' and I was, like, 'OK!'"

Phelps, whose perfect eight-gold campaign in Beijing had already given him the most gold medals of any Olympian, added a new line to his legend as he surpassed Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina's record of 18 career medals with a silver and a gold on Tuesday night that took his total to 19.

Obama offered his congratulations via social networking site Twitter in a tweet signed with his initials "bo" to indicate he composed it personally, and followed up with a phone call.

"He just got on and was saying how everyone is supporting me and is behind me at home and how proud everyone is of me," Phelps said. "That was pretty cool. And he finished by saying 'make sure you tell your mom I said hi,'" added Phelps, whose mother, Debbie, is a staunch supporter and fan.

"It was a good call," Phelps said.

© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse

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