How does it feel to be the planet's fastest-ever swimmer? Paul Casey, DUBLIN
It's definitely something I'm very proud of. I usually don't think about it like that. I think of it as something I love to do, and I'm just having fun with it.
What sacrifices have you had to make for swimming? Anne Huang, CHICAGO
Growing up in high school, I wasn't hanging out with friends every day or on the weekends. Doing normal high school kid things was something I was willing to give up. I know I won't have opportunities like this in the sport for the rest of my life, so I should take advantage of them while I can.
I'm a swimmer too, and I've been on a local team for six years and love it. I'm pretty good, but my butterfly isn't very good. What's your secret? Kathryn Wertheimer WHIPPANY, N.J.
Those things are hard for me to answer. One of the things I've done recently is really worked on the underwater kick to build momentum off the wall from underwater.
When you're racing, do you imagine yourself to be a fish, a dolphin, a ship or something else with nonhuman power? Ju Huang, STAMFORD, CONN.
Not at all. When I'm racing, there's not really that much going through my head. I get in the water and swim, and whatever happens, happens.
No doubt your superhuman performances will bring whispers of steroids and human-growth hormone. How often and thoroughly are tests run on swimmers? James Kelly, SPRINGFIELD, MO.
I get tested at least twice a month. I can definitely speak for myself--the results are the results. They're proof that I'm clean, and that's just how it is.
How do you explain that you (and other swimmers) quite often smash world records by half a second, sometimes even one or two seconds, while world records in track and field hold much longer and are beaten by narrow margins? Jeremie Clevy, PARIS
They are two totally different sports, first of all. But I think in swimming there are so many little things you can change that really do make a big difference in the end. We're able to go back to the drawing board and work on small things that cause significant differences when we are racing. If you think about it, we only have one big meet a year, so we train for that one big meet.
How has your view on drinking been affected--especially now that you're in college at the University of Michigan--since being arrested for DUI [in 2004]? Jeff Braham, CULVER CITY, CALIF.
I'm focused on swimming right now--big, going into the Olympics. Having my DUI happen was a learning experience. Being in a college environment, it's my job to try to help make sure people don't make the same mistake I made.
How do you handle the training, being a celebrity and the homework, all while attending college? Lizz Peterson, CHICAGO
I wouldn't quite say U.S. swimmers are celebrities. I mean, it's not like every day you're walking down the street and getting mobbed. At Michigan there are so many high-profile people in football and basketball. It was cool--I had a class with one of the receivers who is coming into his own, Mario Manningham.
What do you think of Ian Thorpe's sense of fashion, and can we perhaps look forward to seeing your own line of underwear or jewelry in the future? Selwyn Lemos, SYDNEY
[Laughs.] I have an idea of fashion, but I don't see myself coming out with an underwear or jewelry line probably ever.
One day in the future, when you don't participate in those world swimming championships or Olympics, what do you think you will do then? Do you fear that day's coming? Fangying Lou, SHENZHEN, CHINA
I don't know what I want to do. I definitely want to stay in sports, but I'm not sure what field I want to go into. And no, I'm not dreading it. There is going to be a time when I'm ready to retire. But definitely not yet.
To read more from Phelps and to submit questions for upcoming interview subjects, go to time.com/10questions