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Michael Phelps explains his spiral to NBC's Matt Lauer: 'I didn't want to see another day'

Michael Phelps explains his spiral to NBC's Matt Lauer: 'I didn't want to see another day'
Michael Phelps competes in the 200-meter butterfly final at the Arena Pro Swim Series swim meet, Friday, April 15, 2016, in Mesa, Ariz. (Matt York / AP)

Michael Phelps has spent the last six months describing just how lost he was in the days before his 2014 drunk driving arrest. And the record-setting Olympian did so again this morning in an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer.

Lauer, the TODAY co-host, asked Phelps about his mother's reaction to the arrest.

"I think my mom was happy that I was alive," the swimmer replied. "Because I think she saw the sort of path that I was going down. I think a lot of people close to me saw it. And I was going fast. Honestly, I sort of at one point, I just, I felt like I didn't want to see another day."

Phelps has made similar comments to Sports Illustrated and in a televised interviewed with Joe Buck.

One interesting exchange in the Lauer interview, taped a few weeks ago at the Arizona State pool where Phelps trains, saw the NBC host attempt to pin Phelps down on whether he's an alcoholic.

"I don't know," Phelps replied. "I honestly don't know."

He acknowledged periodic problems with binge drinking but said he checked into a rehabilitation facility in 2014 more because "I was at the point in my life where something needed to change."

Phelps said he became at expert at hiding his lack of enthusiasm for swimming in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics in London. But he reiterated his 100-percent commitment to training for this summer's Games in Rio de Janeiro, which would be Phelps' fifth Olympics -- and, he says, his last.

Phelps is currently in Colorado for altitude training with his longtime coach Bob Bowman and teammates from the North Baltimore Aquatic Club.

He will swim at the Elite Invite in Austin, Texas the first weekend in June and then compete for his spots in Rio at U.S. Olympic Trials later that month.

After Rio, he told Lauer, he'll be happy to move on to the next part in his life.

Phelps and his fiance, Nicole Johnson, are expecting their first child this spring.

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