Ronda Rousey, who took home the bronze medal in judo at the Beijing Olympics, has talked about the less lurid camaraderie among Olympians, saying that hanging out with all the world's various superhumans for a few weeks in the summer is super fun. The MMA fighter and Strikeforce bantamweight champion (which all sounds extremely badass), explained that, though almost all of her fellow Olympians were just delightful to be around, there was one notable exception to the prevailing geniality — Michael Phelps, apparently, was something of an asshole.
Rousey said in an interview with Elie Seckbach that Phelps had his own little "hanging out" area, assuming a privilege that not even the mega-star NBA players had. "These NBA players," said Rousey, "are a bigger deal than this guy [Phelps], and they're hanging out with us. We're teammates. We're not a bunch of groupies. Come hang out with us."
She added that she'd also noticed Phelps' Olympic snobbery when Team USA went on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the swimmer with a surfeit of gold medals exhibited obvious disdain for his less well-heeled teammates:
I don't like being somebody's teammate and being treated like I'm a groupie. I didn't even want to go out of my way to say hello to that guy. Get over yourself. All you do is swim. If someone slapped you every time you jumped in the pool, I might have a little respect, but I was a swimmer before I did this stuff, and you can't tell me that swimming is OH MY GOD, because it's not.
Rousey's revision on Olympic swimming sounds sort of awesome, but instead of someone slapping the swimmers, there should just be a too-friendly manatee lurking in the water, waiting to give some unlucky contest a big, medal-spoiling hug. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you bring the Olympics to a whole new generation of sports fans.