OMAHA, NEB. -- After watching Navy SEALs assault an island of terrorists and then capture a drug smuggler's yacht, Michael Phelps must have viewed his own watery mission as a day at the beach.
Phelps bested his own enemies, seven swimmers who would steal a piece of his Olympic action, at the swimming trials here on Thursday night after watching the movie, Act of Valor. The flick stars active member of the elite sea, air and land warriors, known for daring, covert strikes such as the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden.
But if the movie lives up to the SEALs' take-no-prisoners approach -- gunboats attack, drones pursue, heads explode --, Phelps described watching it as more of an Act of Relaxation.
Whatever, it did the trick, because he and his fellow viewer, Allison Schmitt, both made their way to the winner's podium Thursday.
"Schmitty and I actually walked back this morning, we got room service and sat and watched … Act of Valor," Phelps said of his training buddy at North Baltimore Aquatic Club.
Phelps said he gave himself a free morning, scratching from the 100-meter freestyle race he had initially registered for to give his aging body a bit of a break. He does turns 27 on Saturday, after all.
"We were able to sit around and tell jokes. We were laughing, so I think that was something that was pretty cool," Phelps said. "It was a very relaxing day and I think it showed in the race. I was comfortable. That's something that helped everything tonight, and [will] hopefully carry through the rest of the meet."
Phelps, who has qualified for three events in London, will try for two more in the next two days. Schmitt, who has won the 200- and 400-meter freestyles here, has the 100 on Friday.
No word, though, on what the famously voracious Phelps ordered from room service.