Michael Phelps, American swimmer, who was the most-decorated athlete in Olympic history with 28 medals, which included a record 23 gold. At the 2008 Games in Beijing, he became the first athlete to win eight gold medals at a single Olympics.
Phelps was raised in a family of swimmers and joined the prestigious North Baltimore Aquatic Club at age seven. He finished fifth in the 200-metre butterfly at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. At the 2001 U.S. spring nationals, he became at age 15 the youngest world-record holder in men’s swimming when he posted 1 min 54.92 sec in the 200-metre butterfly.
He went on that year to win his first international title at the world championships in Fukuoka, Japan. He claimed five medals at the 2002 Pan Pacific championships, including three gold (200-metre and 400-metre individual medley [IM] and 4 × 100-metre medley relay). At the U.S. spring nationals in 2003, he became the first male swimmer to claim titles in three different strokes at a single national championship, and he later broke an unprecedented five individual world records at the world championships in Barcelona, Spain. Phelps also captured five titles at the U.S. summer nationals—the most won by a male swimmer at a single championship.
Phelps’s retirement was short-lived, as he announced his return to competitive swimming in April 2014. In October of that year, he was suspended by USA Swimming for six months after he was charged with driving under the influence, his second such arrest; the first had occurred in 2004. Phelps was the American flag-bearer at the opening ceremonies of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, which were his fifth Games, a record for an American male swimmer.
There he added to his unparalleled medal count by winning golds in the 200-metre IM, 4 × 100-metre medley relay, 4 × 100-metre freestyle relay, and 4 × 200-metre freestyle relay as well as a silver in the 100-metre butterfly. It was his gold in his signature event, the 200-metre butterfly, that captured the most international attention.
The finals of that race featured South Africa’s Chad le Clos, who had beaten Phelps by five-hundredths of a second in the race at the 2012 Games and who had exchanged verbal barbs with the American over the following four years. Before the race, cameras caught le Clos warming up in front of Phelps, who fixed an icy stare upon his rival that instantly became a meme on social media platforms. In the following race, Phelps eked out a victory by four-hundredths of a second and had an uncharacteristically exuberant celebration in the pool. Having completed his improbably dominant comeback at the 2016 Games, he again retired from competitive swimming.
Michael Phelps Greatest Olympian of all time, spoke at World of Business Ideas (WOBI) World Business forum NYC-2017,see more about great Sports stars in our World Liberty TV Sports Channel by clicking here.