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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Phelps Makes Olympic History; Guarding the Games; Monaco's Royal Couple; Companies Such as Panasonic Call Olympics Perfect for Brand and Image
Aired July 31, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, Phelps does it. The pride of America shatters the all-time Olympic record and proved to the world he's still got that golden touch.
Plus, making history and raising eyebrow. The teenage Chinese phenomenon. Is the wonder kid clean?
Also, the U.S. gymnastics team takes gold. I'll talk to former champ Dominique Dawes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIQUE DAWES, FOXSPORTS.COM OLYMPIC ANALYST: I'm calling these girls the fab five, they were amazing to watch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And guarding the games. An exclusive tour aboard the British Navy's largest warship on watch for terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a genuinely secure stable environment for athletes and spectators to enjoy a fantastic Olympic games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And the other royal couple, the prince and princess of Monaco. Marriage, mystique and the legacy of Grace Kelly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H.S.H. PRINCE ALBERT II, PRINCE OF MONACO: She touched the lives of so many people in so many different ways all over the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening from London. And day four of the 2012 Summer Olympics. It's indeed a historic day for the world and for every single American. Michael Phelps shows everyone he's the best of all-time, swimming his way into the record books. Winning not one but two medals and giving him an astonishing 19-Olympic medals. Quite extraordinary.
And it comes as a 16-year-old girl from China wins another gold and leads yet to more questions about whether her incredible achievements are more than god-given.
And I'm joined now by Christine Brennan from "USA Today" and by Dominique Dawes who was part of the dream team. The magnificent seven who last won gymnastic gold for America in 1996.
Let's talk first of all Michael Phelps. It's the big story tonight. He's become officially the greatest Olympic medal winner in history. What does it mean to any Olympic athlete?
DAWES: Michael Phelps has definitely earned every single one of these 19 medals that he's won thus far. It means so much. It's the legacy that he's going to leave behind. Not just in swimming but in Olympics sports and in sports in general. I'm so proud of him. He's from Maryland. I've been cheering for him every step of the way.
MORGAN: Christine, it's an extraordinary achievement because the previous record holder, Larissa Latenina, who's a Russian gymnast, she last competed in the Olympics in 1964. To give you some idea just how long ago that is, that was a year before I was born. It's that ages.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, SPORTS COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: And it's 21 years before Michael Phelps was born. And I think the only sad note tonight for Michael is that he did not win his signature event, the 200 butterfly. This is the event, Piers, that he was in as a 15-year-old in Sydney in 2000. For Michael Phelps to be caught at the finish in his signature, you know, his bread-and-butter race, I'm sure that even though he's very happy about this record I'm sure --
MORGAN: He won't like it.
MORGAN: A lot of experts saying tonight that he eased up, it's very unlike him. And as he did, the South African went through hard and that's how he beat him. Very unlike Michael Phelps to let that happen.
BRENNAN: Well, and a mistake. And he looked upset afterwards and that's part of the reason people will remember four years ago the 100- butterfly where Michael caught his competitor right at the very end. This is the complete reverse of that. And a very disappointing finish for Michael.
MORGAN: Do you think he has trained as hard as he did for Beijing? Do you think the hunger's has been there? Can it be there when he win eight gold medals?
BRENNAN: No, it can't be there. Dominique would know this for sure. But he can't be there and he said, you know, he didn't want to train. And if it's not in the tank, if you haven't put the money in the bank, how do you withdraw it. And I think that's what we're seeing with Michael as well. MORGAN: So much have been very contentious as well with swimming about this young Chinese swimmer. What do you make of all that's going on with her? Because a lot of people saying are tonight until she is proven guilty of doping, why on earth are we even debating this? What do you think?
BRENNAN: We're debating it because of the history of women's swimming. Going back to the east Germans of the 1970, said they weren't doping. It was state sponsored doping, piers. It was well documented. Once the wall came down in Germany. Going back to the '96 Olympics in Atlanta. Everyone was pointing fingers at an Irish woman, Michelle Smith, who came out of the blue to win. Sure enough, they were called, never saying it was sour grapes. They were all correct.
So time and again when they pointed fingers in women's swimming, more often than not, it has proved to be true and that's what we're seeing here.
MORGAN: And with me now is Chen Li from the Brookings Institution. He's also a director at the National Committee on U.S./China relations. What do you make of what's going on here? Do you believe there is a racial undertones to this? If it had been an American swimmer or a British swimmer? Would this debate be on front page of newspapers around the world?
CHENG LI, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: It may not be so much of a racial thing. But I think it's still unfair that single out a Chinese swimmer. Because early -- again as I mentioned about history, but a history does not necessarily review things about the present. The fact is the Chinese government actually has a very tight policy about the doping. They actually test many, many times.
The fact is that Eamon Sullivan was tested recently, just a few hours ago. And so I think it's unfair to treat a Chinese swimmer. But also, Chinese public acted strongly. They believe that this is kind of racial thing. The Chinese never doubt about the Michael Phelps. And that he's as human. And there Chinese never doubted some other extraordinary performance of the American athletes. So in that regard, China may have some point.
MORGAN: Yes, and I think, Christine Brennan, but I mean there's no doubt (INAUDIBLE). You know, saying that he had the same kind of extraordinary rapid growth and performance. Five seconds. When he was, I think 16, 17. Exactly the same age. When you're very young as a swimmer, you can have these alarming jumps in your performance levels. Physically, she isn't like anything like as bulky as the Chinese swimmers who did cheat.
We remember that from Athens and other games. Are we giving her a bad rap, do you think?
BRENNAN: Well, I don't think we are. I think journalistically it's the right thing to do to --
(CROSSTALK) MORGAN: Would it happened to an American?
BRENNAN: I believe it would. As I mentioned earlier, Michelle Smith, an Irish swimmer, she got all those questions back in 1996. When Dara Torres came back in 2000, I wrote a column saying if she were East German we would be asking these questions about her. She didn't like that. But absolutely.
I think the difference with Michael Phelps is he's been around so long and tested so long. There are questions about Chinese drug testing. That is the international community asking those very tough questions. It's not the same as some of the drug testing around the rest of the world. And the Chinese coming out of the blue, I mean, good for her, I hope she's clean, but the history of the sport says we have to ask these questions.
MORGAN: I mean, Cheng Li, China in a sense has brought this on itself, hasn't it, because there have been so many swimmers discredited in the last 15 years or so. Is it really surprising that people would raise an eyebrow of yet another extraordinary out of the world performance? Is it not right to at least ask a question?
LI: Well, China paid a huge price for what they did in the 1990s. Because of that, the Chinese people and the Chinese swimming community feel that they should be taken a very tough policy to what's doping. They caught one or two cases even before that. But I don't think it's a systemic approach in contrast to 20 years ago. Having said that, I still think it is so unfair to have the audience have speculation about a young swimmer, a rising star, and he is a -- extraordinary talented and we do not have much evidence but to just launch criticism against her, not only me, but also many other people, many Americans including some of the leaders, administrators of the International Olympic Committee. And also (INAUDIBLE), also raise that issue.
So I think that we -- unless we have some evidence, we should stop criticizing her and we should cheer, we should applaud her extraordinary achievements.
MORGAN: Dominique, I mean you're a great athlete. Gymnastics has never been hit by the same kind of doping scandals, many of the other sports have at the Olympics. You know there's lots of question marks about Usain Bolt, about almost everybody who does out of the world achievements.
It's very sad to me as a sports fan that the first thought people had when you watch an amazing performance is, is she cheating, is he cheating? When there's no evidence that they are yet.
DAWES: I could -- I would be -- I'm very sad as well. And I couldn't imagine being in a sport like swimming or track and field where you're standing on the block or you're about to take off and you're thinking, are your competitors possibly doping, possibly cheating.
MORGAN: Do you think the part of this is because China are beating America, winning more gold medals, but a jealousy maybe? LI: Could it be because China has been performing very well. Then we also mentioned that China's swimming team has not been a surprise victory for the team. Because they have been doing consistently well in the past few years. There are some swimmers, really, will be very successful in the years to come. Of course we should very vigorously to test the Chinese swimmers because of the previous record. Because they are doing so well. But before any evidence or any proof, we should stop all these speculations.
MORGAN: Cheng Li, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
Dominique, let's turn to gymnastics because it's a stunning day after a very disappointing day. It's been a disappointing start for the Americans until today. Michael Phelps has revved everybody up. The women's gymnastics team scooping gold for the first time since you did it with what was called the magnificent seven. And you were the queen of the magnificent seven many people said. What do you feel about it? An amazing achievement.
DAWES: I am calling these girls the fab five. I've been calling them the fab five for some time now. And I know I've ripping off that nickname from a basketball team back in the day. But they were amazing to watch. I thought they looked great in prelims. I understand there's an issue about Jordan Wieber being knocked out of the all around.
But we have Gabby and Aly that are going to be competing in the all around competition. So I don't see that as much of a disappointed. They won. Myself. Shannon Miller was there working with other reporters and we were just thrilled for these young girls. We know it's been six years but we are so proud to pass the torch. I'm so tired of hearing about the magnificent seven. We made history with a dramatic finish.
DAWES: But I'm one of those older athletes that I want to see the next generation surpass what I accomplished.
MORGAN: Good for you.
DAWES: I'm thrilled. I'm thrilled, thrilled, thrilled, that it's been five girls.
MORGAN: I've been (INAUDIBLE) myself as --
MORGAN: I want to have the record forever.
DAWES: Well, in my 20s, I would have been more selfish but at 35, not so much.
MORGAN: Christine, it's a great achievement. I interviewed Aly Raisman. She's a remarkable young woman. I mean incredibly confident. Brilliant at what she does. And Gabby, again, another brilliant young gymnast. Are we seeing a real resurgence now do you think in gymnastics for the American team?
BRENNAN: Absolutely. And I think it's the system that Martha Carrolly, the wife of Bella Carrolly, the kingmaker of the sport. It's that system which is a national system. Mind and body. Get them all together. Train as one. I think that's it. You know, the other thing is, they did not make a s mistake. I mean 12 different performances. Three gymnasts on each of the four rotations, Piers. They were flawless. Just a tiny bobble here or there.
MORGAN: I felt -- I felt sad for John Orozco. I interviewed him. He was such a sweet young guy and I really felt for him. I felt that he had the weight of America on his shoulders. I suddenly saw the huge pressure this these young kids feel.
DAWES: Yes, it was a disappointing performance out of the guys in the team finals. John Orozco, great kid, Puerto Rican guy from the Bronx. Who knew in the sport of gymnastics. Danell Leyva, Cuban American in the sport of gymnastics. Who knew he's leading the way. It was disappointing for them in the team finals. However, I do feel as if those two guys have an opportunity to redeem themselves in the all around competition and I think they'll do just that.
MORGAN: Well, it's good to see America firing on all cylinders, finally. I think the China-American battle, looking at it from my British perspective, is going to be great. And I can't wait to see how it all ends up.
Thank you both for joining me. I really appreciate it.
DAWES: Thank you.
BRENNAN: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming next, watching the terror. Our exclusive behind-the- scenes look at Britain's security forces as I go aboard the royal Navy's largest warship.
MORGAN: Munich, 1972. Atlanta, 1996. The unfortunate datelines of horrific act of terror of modern Olympics. It's a small army making sure nothing like that can happen in London. Led by an elite team. Based on HMS Ocean. The largest warship in the British Royal Navy fleet. The duration of the game it sits on the River Thames with attack helicopters at the ready.
We've been given an exclusive tour of the ocean with Lt. Col. Lenny Brown of the Royal Marines.
LT. COLONEL LENNY BROWN, ROYAL MARINES: Every time we set sail, we do something unique. And this is just another example of that. MORGAN: What is the nightmare scenario to deal with for you?
BROWN: There isn't really. And we've contingency plans for every possible scenario. There's fighter helicopters ready to go at the command.
MORGAN: And the particular thing I was told the army was, I'm not sure it applies to all of them, but they'll be snipers in the back. And their job will be to intercept?
BROWN: There's a range of capabilities we can put in the back of this aircraft. That is but one of them.
MORGAN: You don't want to give too much away.
BROWN: Absolutely not. There's a lot of surprises we can deliver.
MORGAN: Sergeant Kevin Hayes keeps the choppers flying. These helicopters could be the fastest rapid response tool that you have on this boat, right?
SERGEANT KEVIN HAYES, HMS OCEAN: That's correct. The helicopter is highly versatile. It holds the world speed record of just under 200 miles per hour. And these aircraft can be scrambled in a matter of moments to capture any aircrafts that may -- being concerned.
MORGAN: And these at the moment are down here, there are two that are currently ready to go. And they can take off how fast?
HAYES: In a matter of moments. Sliding door. Lots of space. And we can fit weapons systems and currently to the Olympics our snipers will be operating from this space.
MORGAN: And if troops need to response by water there are crack marines on board like Alex Morgan and Connor Lane.
This extraordinary looking beast here, what is it?
LANCE CORPORAL ALEX MORGAN: This is the OCBP. It's used to transport flying troops to a beach head. As Royal Marines, obviously, our main (INAUDIBLE) beach landings. And that's what these things are used for.
MORGAN: If there was a major incident down at the Olympics, you could get here pretty quickly from here, right?
A. MORGAN: Yes. Yes, Yes. These things are capable of shooting up and down the river quite quickly.
MORGAN: You guys are basically armed to the teeth and ready if you need to be, aren't you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: . Yes. Absolutely. Yes.
MORGAN: The captain of HMS Ocean is Andrew Betton. This ship, HMS Ocean, was in Libya, in war action last year. Now it's here for the Olympics primarily at the moment. What's the difference in terms of what you do as the captain?
CAPTAIN ANDREW BETTON, HMS OCEAN: HMS Ocean is the royal Navy's largest ship. But she is incredibly versatile. On the face of it, the task of Libya is completely different to what we're doing here in London. But actually, the detail reality, the day to day nuts and bolts of our business is about launching and recovering aircraft and accommodating people.
MORGAN: Is this the biggest operation you can remember for a domestic situation? Because I can't remember one as big as this in totality.
BETTON: As an arm of government, UK armed forces are responsible 365 days a year to help secure our homeland. But as a discrete operation, the Olympic festival, that's the Olympic games or the paralympic games is certainly the largest security operation I've ever seen.
MORGAN: And would you say from all your experience that we're ready?
BETTON: Very much so.
MORGAN: The military maxim. The army travels on its stomach. And the Ocean is no exception. The man running the chow line is Chief Petty Officer Paul Conybeer.
And let's get down to logistics here. I mean how much food are you serving a day for these guys?
CHIEF PETTY OFFICER PAUL CONYBEER, HMS OCEAN: At the moment we've got just over a thousand people on board. Normally the ship's company just have over 400 hundred. So we've got an extra 600 people that we're feeding at a moment on a 24-hour period.
MORGAN: But that's --
CONYBEER: Yes. No Americans.
MORGAN: This is like eggs, bacon, sausage. The whole works.
CONYBEER: Yes. The whole works. All that -- you know, they don't have to have that. They can have cereals and toast if they prefer to.
MORGAN: Lt. Col. Brown, Royal Marines, has a message for anyone thinking of stirring up trouble at the games.
BROWN: Stay on couch and watch it on TV.
MORGAN: Don't mess with you guys.
BROWN: Absolutely not.
MORGAN: Next, my candid interview with Monaco's royal couple. From their Olympic past to their new life together.
MORGAN: Prince William and his bride Catherine aren't the only royal couple in London for the Olympics. So are Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco. Married for a year, they have a lot to say about living in the palace and in the public eye. I sat down with them for a surprisingly candid interview.
MORGAN: Your Royal Highnesses. Welcome. Thank you for joining me. We're here in London for the Olympics. And here is a fascinating fact that many of my viewers may not be aware of. You have both competed at the Olympic games.
H.S.H. PRINCE ALBERT II: Yes. It was great to -- well, it was a wonderful moment for me and I think for Charlene, too, but it was great that the sport brought us together because --
MORGAN: You were in five games. In the Monaco bobsleigh team. Bobsled as they say in America. But you and I would say bobsleigh. And you were -- you were the pilot. You were the guy at the front in a four-man bobsled. I watched this. It looks absolutely terrifying to me. Is it as terrifying to do it?
H.S.H. PRINCE ALBERT II: Well, you know, I've often said that anyone who's done bobsleigh, especially as a driver, if they weren't scared once during their career, they weren't real bobsledders. So you learn to overcome those fear and you learn to work with the track and your jobs is to beat that track and to make sure your sleigh gets down safely. And the crew is down safely in a fast time.
MORGAN: Prince Charlene, you are an Olympic swimmer.
H.S.H. PRINCESS CHARLENE, PRINCESS OF MONACO: Was.
MORGAN: Yes. But I mean, you always are, once you? Once you've competed in the Olympics.
PRINCESS CHARLENE: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: For the rest of your life, you can say, "I was an Olympic swimmer."
PRINCE ALBERT II: Once an Olympian, always an Olympian.
MORGAN: Yes, I think that was they all say, isn't it?
Tell me about your swimming career.
PRINCESS CHARLENE: Well, I started swimming when I was 8 years old. I competed for Zimbabwe. And at the age of 12 I moved to South Africa and I'm competing for South Africa when I was 16 and I had a dream to go to the Olympics when I was 8 years old. My mom was a diver and I think I drew a lot of inspiration from her and I managed to get to the Olympic Games.
MORGAN: You have two horses in the race for the Olympics. You have, obviously, the Monaco contestants. How many -- there are six I heard?
PRINCE ALBERT II: We have six athletes. And --
MORGAN: Six athletes. And obviously, a number of South Africans competing. You'll be supporting both I presume. South Africa is an extraordinary country. I went to Johannesburg just before the soccer world cup and I've had the great honor of interviewing Nelson Mandela before that a few years ago. Incredible changes in your country. What would you feel about South Africa today?
PRINCESS CHARLENE: I'm always optimistic about South Africa. I think South Africans are great people. It's a beautiful country. And a lot of talented athletes and people. So yes, I -- optimistic about South Africa.
MORGAN: And you must have met Nelson Mandela, I guess so? A remarkable man.
PRINCE ALBERT II: Yes, in fact, I met him, and the first time, we were a small group of IOC members going to check on the Cape Town bid for the Olympics. And he received us in his office. And Victoria. It was just an incredible meeting. Could sense the incredible personality and the -- the essence of what he was all about. And that he was --
MORGAN: I loved his humor, too. A funny man as well.
PRINCE ALBERT II: Absolutely.
PRINCESS CHARLENE: He was a very simple man. Very smart in the way he united a country through a simple game of sport. He -- you know, South Africa was never the same after the '95 World Cup Rugby. And, you know, he's an enthusiastic sports person. Was a sports person himself. And, you know, I just think --
PRINCE ALBERT II: And it was in Monaco that he got the Laureate in Sports award that he -- wonderful speech that he made that evening, but then you said that sport has the power to unite the world. And that's exactly what -- what we are trying to do in the International Olympic Committee. But in -- support organizations all over the world. But he was the first one to really coin that phrase.
MORGAN: Yes, he was. What about President Obama? He's coming near the end of his first term. He's obviously battling for re-election in November. You've met him. What do you think of him?
PRINCE ALBERT II: Yes, I met him at the United Nations a couple of years ago. And was really struck by his personality and very engaging person. I met Michelle Obama also. I think he's -- considering the circumstances and the overall world economic slowdown that he's managed pretty remarkably well. MORGAN: What do you think of America as a country today? Because they're struggling a little bit I think with their identity. No longer the only super power. What do you think?
PRINCE ALBERT II: Well, I think America -- we still look up to America in many ways. And in many areas. But of course the world is -- the world is changing. The world is -- there are other powers that are coming into -- into their own of course.
We think of China at the forefront of that. But there's not only China. There are other countries in Asia or in different parts of the world that are developing at a very rapid pace. And so America still has a lot of work to do to be competitive, to assert its place and to find its dominant position in the world.
I think it's an incredible country, you know, a wonderful country.
MORGAN: Let's come back. I want to talk about your mother, Princess Grace. Obviously, for an American audience, they still hold your mother in the deepest of affections. I'd like to discuss it with you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE KELLY, PRINCESS OF MONACO: On marrying his heinous, I will become Monocan. But I will also retain my American citizenship.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does that go for your children too?
KELLY: I don't know about that as yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Prince Albert, that was your mother, Princess Grace, talking before she got marry to your father, Prince Rainier. When she was talking there about having children, it was interesting that already she was having to think about American citizenship and so on and so on.
Your mother was an extraordinary woman, a fabulously talented actress. And she became this impossibly glamorous princess. And the whole world fell in love with her. Her life was cruelly ended so young at 52. What do you think she would have made of the way that you have conducted yourself since you had to take over the reins of the palace?
PRINCE ALBERT II: First of all, I can't believe it's already 30 years since her passing. I still think of her every day. And I hope that she would be proud of me and proud of what I tried to achieve in the last 30 years.
MORGAN: You were 24 when she died.
PRINCE ALBERT II: Yes.
MORGAN: I would imagine the memories of that awful day are very acute for you.
PRINCE ALBERT II: Yes.
MORGAN: But for those who didn't know your mother, how would you describe her?
PRINCE ALBERT II: She was the most warm, gracious, engaging person. Of course, very -- very close to all of us, an incredible mother. But just an incredibly generous person in heart and spirit. And she touched the lives of so many people in so many different ways all over the world.
MORGAN: Do you have any American citizenship because of your mother?
PRINCE ALBERT II: I never actually had a passport, but I had a paper in my passport that said when I was to travel to the United States, I shouldn't be considered as a foreign citizen. So it was that kind of dual -- unofficial dual citizenship that I had for years.
And then I gave it up when I became 21, which was then the legal age in Monaco. But I've never felt foreign -- never felt as a foreign land to me. I've always felt very -- not only proud of my American heritage, not only very -- very close to it, but I spent a lot of time over there.
MORGAN: You have just celebrated your first anniversary with two great royal weddings. For the people of Monaco, this was the big one. How's it going, Princess Charlene?
PRINCESS CHARLENE, PRINCESS OF MONACO: Very well, thank you.
MORGAN: Life is good as Princess Charlene?
PRINCESS CHARLENE: Busy. A lot more busier. Yeah, it's going great.
MORGAN: When you come into it, as indeed Princess Grace had to do, what is the culture shock? What is the reality of entering a royal family?
PRINCESS GRACE: Well, from what I've experienced, it's very busy, a lot of responsibilities. And yeah it --
PRINCE ALBERT II: A lot of engagements.
PRINCESS CHARLENE: Yeah, a lot of engagements, a lot of functions.
MORGAN: What's the best bit?
PRINCESS CHARLENE: The best bit?
MORGAN: Other than being married to this charming, handsome prince?
PRINCESS CHARLENE: I get to wear a tiara now and then.
MORGAN: Every woman wants to wear a tiara. Doesn't they? I bet they're dazzling tiaras, aren't they, in Monaco? PRINCESS CHARLENE: Also, I think it's quite special that little girls say, where's your tiara? You're a real princess? Yes, I am.
MORGAN: Did you ever dream of that when you were a little girl yourself? did you ever think, one day I want to be a princess, marry a handsome prince?
PRINCESS CHARLENE: I wanted to be Zoro.
MORGAN: You've had a hard time from the press, as I would have expected, because it's such a huge high-profile thing to be marrying Prince Albert. All the expectation of people in Monaco and around the world and so on. You've taken some legal action on some of these reports. They had you dashing to the airport before the wedding, that kind of thick thing.
Briefly tell me about that.
PRINCE ALBERT II: I think it was only because we wanted the truth to be known and to come out. And so that's why we felt compelled to take action against -- I guess against that magazine, but I think it was extremely unfair, extremely unprofessional of those people and others who repeated that story.
MORGAN: And hurtful to you, Princess Charlene. No bride wants to read all this nonsense.
PRINCESS CHARLENE: I actually had no idea. I was in Paris the day before. I'd taken my mom shopping to get her some shoes and bags and whatever the case. I got back to the palace. Albert came down and said, there's a rumor out that you've left. I said, what? What do you mean I've left? Yeah, it's all out.
When did this happen? Like not even an hour ago. I was, like, wow. Well, it's not true, is it?
MORGAN: There is an upside. And you're with your handsome prince. Tell me about the Princess Grace Foundation.
PRINCE ALBERT II: Well, the Princess Grace Foundation has been established since my mother's passing, because she wanted to establish the foundation in the U.S. There's one in Monaco that has slightly different aims. She wanted to help young artists, young emerging artists in theater, dance and film. And she was never able to do that.
So we just carried on her mission and her vision, and tried to make it happen. And it's been now almost 30 years. And it's doing remarkably well. We've distributed tens of millions of dollars in scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships to these young American artists. And we will have our next awards going, fund-raiser in New York City on October 22nd.
MORGAN: Princess Charlene, tell me about the Special Olympics. Obviously a cause dear to your heart. Why is that? PRINCESS CHARLENE: Well, training in South Africa, I was, you know often training alongside athletes that had disabilities and, you know, they also tried to get to their meets, to reach their goals in life, very little support. So I said to them, if I was in a position some day, I would definitely give back and help in any way I could -- possibly can.
And so I thought, well, I've always been involved in Special Olympics and the Paraolympics. In the meantime, I also started a foundation. You know, drawing inspiration from the Princess Grace Foundation, her passions were to obviously help struggling artists. I hope to do the same with some athletes and the support development programs and mentoring programs in the future.
MORGAN: Good for you. See, she's turning into quite the princess, isn't she? It's been a real pleasure to talk to you both. Thank you for sharing the time. Enjoy the Olympics. Enjoy London and Britain. I know that you've been a longtime supporter of this country. I thank you for that. Thank you both for joining me.
PRINCE ALBERT II: Thank you.
MORGAN: Next, big games, big money. We'll take a closer look at the business behind the Olympics.
MORGAN: The Olympics are of course about aligning the world's best athletes to compete against each other. For some major companies, it's also about big business and marketing. Joe Taylor is the CEO and chairman of Panasonic North America, one of the 11 companies sponsoring the Olympics this year. He joins me now.
Joe Taylor, welcome.
JOE TAYLOR, PRESIDENT, PANASONIC NORTH AMERICA: Thank you. Nice to be here, Piers.
MORGAN: Why do you want to be so involved with the Olympics? What does it bring to Panasonic?
TAYLOR: First off, what could be more wholesome than peace through sports? That's the mantra of the Olympics. But I think beyond that, the Olympics is a brand that everyone aspires to be, or at least Panasonic aspires to be. If you think about it. It's global. It's world class. It's competitive. It's young. It's on the cutting edge. And it's wholesome.
Those are many of the attributes that the Panasonic brand is trying to become or trying to enhance.
MORGAN: Is it also true it's incredibly expensive? And if it is as incredibly expensive as I'm led to believe, do you actually make money? Does it cost you a lot of money? Is it an investment for the future in your brand? How do you view it?
TAYLOR: Well, I wouldn't say expensive or inexpensive. I would say the experience is priceless. Like being with you tonight.
MORGAN: Of course, of course.
TAYLOR: And in all of business, everything is rationalized. Everything has to have a return on investment. And we clearly believe, because this is -- I don't know how many Olympics, now, 25 years, that we've committed the Olympics. We feel we get a reasonable rate of return on our investment. So we're very, very pleased with our relationship with the International Olympic Committee, as well as all the regional Olympic committees.
MORGAN: Lots of pluses this year. The technology obviously is massively more advanced than even four years ago. We've got 3D now, HD. Everything's looking all singing, all dancing. The one big apparent negative, although it's really up for debate, is this whole issue of taped delay. As one of the main sponsors, how do you feel about what NBC is doing, which is basically ignoring the rally cry to be airing the big events live and they're sticking to their prime-time schedule?
TAYLOR: Piers, it's a great question. I have enough trouble running my own company without trying to tell NBC what to do. I think we have -- I have kind of personal and professional. Personally, of course I'd rather see everything live. But professionally, from what we're trying to accomplish from a marketing and a brand standpoint, frankly, it doesn't make any difference. At least it hasn't so far in this Olympics.
The television ratings are through the roof so far. So people are watching no matter what time it's on. In the end, that's what we care about.
MORGAN: Let's turn to your company. Very successful company, North America Panasonic. As are Apple, a company I know that you respect hugely and others. I've got a bit of bug bear about the number of big American companies sending so many jobs abroad now, because it's cheaper and more efficient to do that. I know that Panasonic do it. I know that Apple do it in vast numbers.
What do you think about the -- people like I guess Starbucks for example opening factories back in America at a bit of a loss leader, but doing it to make a point, we want to bring jobs back to America?
TAYLOR: You know, Piers, I don't think there's a very simple answer for all of that. It's admiral what Starbucks is doing. I would tell you in the '80s through the early '90s, we had 24 manufacturing sites in North America. We've reduced that by 80 percent today because of competitive pressures around the world.
What brings competitive pressure? Consumers and customers and clients bring the competitive pressures, because they want what they want when they want it at the price they want. And the U.S. has become a difficult place to do manufacturing. As a U.S. subsidiary of a foreign-owned company, my own ax to grind is that our United States government does not attract foreign direct investment. That is investment from foreign companies like mine. Ten years ago, the United States attracted 40 percent of all foreign direct investment globally. Last year, 17 percent. What does that mean? It means the United States has become a less attractive place for companies around the world to move their manufacturing sites.
MORGAN: Whoever wins in November, what should they do about that?
TAYLOR: They ought to take a look at -- they ought to understand, business is not the enemy. I don't believe -- I'm not a politician, but politics, government is not the answer to many of our city's woes. I believe the answer lies in jobs. And who provides jobs but large, small and medium sized businesses. And this is -- the United States is now the highest cooperate tax rate in the world. Something is wrong.
MORGAN: If they made it more attractive for businesses like yours to bring factories back to America, would you do that?
TAYLOR: I would have to say we would consider it. But the United States has a long way to go in attracting manufacturing now. We can't have a change in policy every four years. We need consistent government policy that businesses have confidence will extend over a long period of time, at least as long as the investment will last.
MORGAN: Thank you very much.
TAYLOR: Thank you for having me. This was fun.
MORGAN: Joe Taylor. Coming up, I talk with Britain's greatest every Olympian, Sir Steve Redgrave on his emotional role in the opening ceremony and the pressure on athletes going for gold.
MORGAN: An extraordinary moment at the openings ceremony. That's Sir Steve Redgrave carrying the torch as it enters the stadium. Redgrave's a British icon, an Olympic hero with five gold medals to his name. It's an honor to have you here, Sir Steve.
SIR STEVE REDGRAVE, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Pleasure to be here.
MORGAN: I was certainly pleased that you were the one carrying the torch, because I had been campaigning for you on Twitter for about three months, demanding it.
REDGRAVE: It's probably your fault I didn't get the final job then, with the iconic lighting of the caldron. I think wherever the organizing body is of whatever game wants that to be a secret. Everybody talks about the Ali moment and from that point of view. But I remember being in the stadium when he did that and thinking, who is it going to be? Who's it going to be? And then Ali appears. You think, oh, obvious.
But I think that I was firm favorite for seven years, as soon as we were given the winning the bid. I've been trying to play it down. Don't play me that. Don't play up. Because more or less it's going to be -- and there's more a chance of doing it.
MORGAN: I would have had the kids taking it off Beckham and then running to you, especially when I saw the way you were running. You've been quicker in your career, haven't you?
REDGRAVE: Not running, that's why I row.
MORGAN: What did you feel? Was the most honorable thing -- was it lighting the torch, passing it to the kids? Was it receiving it from the great Becks?
REDGRAVE: I think it probably was being asked to do it in the first place. I probably knew about two and a half weeks before, and coming down here to the stadium and Danny Ball (ph). And they showed me the computer graphics of what they were going to do. I had hairs on the back of my neck, of the caldron coming up.
MORGAN: It was amazing to watch.
REDGRAVE: Really, really special.
MORGAN: The big talking point in America is Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, the big battle, and of course the Frenchman who came out of nowhere, Anyelle (ph) and Lotte (ph) the other day. You've been in Michael Phelps's position. You've been an all conquering hero, toyed with giving it up and then dragged yourself, kicking and screaming, back in. What is it about the Olympics that makes great champions keep coming back, do you think?
REDGRAVE: It is the biggest sporting event there is. Nothing comes close to it, of multiple sports, is that the size, the magnitude, the excitement. You go to anywhere in the world, even places that don't have TVs, they will know about the Olympic games. They might not quite know what's going on at the Olympic games, but they'll know about it.
I think that's the special thing of it, is that a lot of sports that are involved in the games, in their own element at their own world championships, are not that big. But in the Olympic umbrella, it just magnifies the whole thing.
MORGAN: You would be most British people's choice as our greatest Olympian. Who is your favorite Olympian in the world, ever?
REDGRAVE: I think, going back, it would probably be when I was a 10- year-old, of watching Mark Spitz win his seventh. That sort of blew me away in some ways. I never knew what sport rowing was at that time. It was another four years before I found my sport. At that moment, I dreamed about being an Olympic champion. That would be fantastic. Just to go to an Olympic games once would be a -- maybe get a medal. Never dreamt about multiple medals and multiple games.
MORGAN: Do you think people have any real understanding of the sacrifice and the dedication that it takes to be the best when you come to the Olympics?
REDGRAVE: I think most people do. When -- whatever walk of life they're in, how much sacrifice they have to put in that and there. And the journalists will always talk about the sacrifice of it. It's a lot of fun doing it as well. There's a lot of highs as well as lows within it.
But it does become very all-consuming. But to be the -- good at anything, you have to practice a hell of a lot. Sports is one of those things. It's very busy if you're practicing and also you're competing.
MORGAN: You have won five gold medals. You've carried the Olympic torch into the London Olympic stadium. And you've been knighted by her majesty, the queen. If I case say you could have only one of those, which would you take?
REDGRAVE: It would have to be the medals. Because without the medals you wouldn't get all the other honors that come along with it. So if I had won no Olympic gold medals, I wouldn't have been anywhere near this place probably at the moment. Nobody would be inviting me anywhere. You wouldn't want to be speaking to me.
It's got to be the sport. It's got to be the medals. I just say myself, the joy, in some ways, is I stumbled across the sport of rowing.
MORGAN: Do you still row?
REDGRAVE: I've been out in a boat five times this year. And that's five times in total for the last four years. So no. Not very often.
MORGAN: Sir Steve, it's been a great pleasure. And congratulations on that amazing event. It was a remarkable night.
That's all for us from London. Tomorrow it's a giltage (ph) edition of PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT, diver Greg Louganis and track superstars Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson, have a staggering 17 gold medals between them. And they will all be joining me here tomorrow. Very excited by that.
Back in New York, Anderson Cooper starts now.