Editors "can't fill the papers with stories of Olympians every week, because Olympians aren't publicity conscious," he said. "Most of them are quite shy and retiring."
Celebrity, he added, requires a certain shamelessness.
"Respect is not a word you tend to think of" with many celebs, Clifford said. "But with Olympians you do."
Associated Press Writer Sandy Cohen in Los Angeles contributed to this report. Jill Lawless can be reached at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless
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