Michael Phelps, criticized by a fellow US Olympic swimmer about his work ethic earlier this week, said Thursday he plans to let his swimming do the talking for him about the subject.
Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and six golds and two bronzes at the 2004 Athens Games, spoke as the US squad gathered ahead of traveling to London for the Olympics, which begin on July 27.
Tyler Clary, in comments to the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper in his California hometown, spoke about a poor work ethic from Phelps when they were at the University of Michigan together.
"I saw a real lack of preparation (from) him," Clary said. "Basically he was a swimmer that didn't want to be there. They can talk about all of these goals and plans and preparation they have. I saw it. I know. It's different. And I saw somebody that has basically been asking to get beat for the longest time."
Asked to respond, Phelps made it clear he was not concerned what anyone else had to say about his motivation.
"For me right now the only thing I'm worried about is myself and preparing myself to go out and represent my country and step up and wear the stars and stripes and try to swim as fast as I can," Phelps said.
"There's nothing else that needs to be said about it."
Clary said that he works harder than Phelps.
"The fact that I know I work harder than he does makes me appreciate every little goal and every little gain that I make," Clary said. "The fact that he doesn't have to work as hard to get that done, it's a real shame.
"I think the things he could have done if he had worked as hard as I do would have been even more incredible than what he has pulled off."
Phelps will compete in seven events at the London Olympics. Clary will swim the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke in his first Olympics.
Clary said he regretted the distraction made by his comments and said he has spoken to Phelps and there were no hard feelings between them.
"It was more of a relief to me to make sure that he knew that's not how I feel about him," Clary said.