I finally have something in common with an Olympic gold medalist.

The photo above of Michael Phelps is (for me) like looking in the mirror. But it got even better when I read that (just like me) Phelps consumes an incredible amount of food every day — about 12,000 calories.

Okay, he burns off all those pancakes and pizzas and omelets and pasta, breathing through his gills as his half-dolphin body goes turbo through the water to capture more gold, while I sit on my butt waiting for any one of NBC’s 209 Olympic channels to show the Brazilian women’s beach volleyball team in slow motion.

I wonder if Phelps’ trainer ever yells at him for falling off his carbo-loading wagon: “Michael, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times — do not fill up on salad! You have a race to win!”

Throughout America, there are now kids who see Phelps as a role model. Not for his swimming ability, but because he empowers them to argue with Mom every time she tells them to eat more fruits and vegetables: “Mom, don’t you want me to win a gold medal?”

One other note about Phelps. Even in the races where he doesn’t take the lead and hold it from the start, he has the amazing ability to come from behind, almost as if he’s baiting the other swimmers as suckers. The other night, when he was a full body length behind as they made the final turn, I swore I heard him say to the guy in front, “Do you want to double the bet?” Then he passed him faster than a Chinese censor shutting down a Tienanmen Square tribute website.