Having taken our stern but loving admonitions against grabbing the first Hollywood opportunity that comes slithering his way, gilled Olympian phenom Michael Phelps appears to be enjoying the scenic route out of Beijing and into the bachelor lifestyle to which his 14 total gold medals entitle him. His ladyfriend roundelay reportedly peaked earlier this week with 20-year-old Australian swimmer and make-out enthusiast Stephanie Rice — herself one of her country's most celebrated young athletes and naughty Facebook page proprietors:
The Baltimore Bullet swooped in for the lip-lock with the 20-year-old brunette just weeks after she split from Aussie swimmer Eamon Sullivan. "All the swimmers are talking about it, and [Sullivan] is cut up about what happened," the source said. The day after the face-sucking frolics, Phelps and Rice cheekily posed together for Speedo - laughing and playfully groping each other as a photographer snapped them in their swimsuits. "I definitely admire him for his athletic ability and everything he's achieved," gushed Rice, who won three gold medals of her own. "I'm just really glad to be in the mix with that."Aww! But even she isn't the kind of girl you fly home halfway 'round the world to meet Mom, who even cares after Phelps just dropped about $1.7 million on a 4,000 square-foot bachelor pad in Baltimore. Earlier he bought his training facility (complete with an ice rink), and next up, a Maserati. Or maybe an Aston Martin, he said: "[S]ome of the old-school [James] Bond ones. That would be sick."After which he'll hop into bed again with NBC, which just spent an undisclosed amount for broadcast rights to the 2009 US and world swimming championships. And then his movie breakthrough in fellow Baltimorean John Waters's Hairspray 2. Actually, we made that last part up. Just as long as he's not slapping hos with Carl Lewis, we don't even care.