Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985) is a swimming sensation. He started training at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club at Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center where his coach Bob Bowman recognized Phelps’ talents and ferocious sense of competition then started an extreme training regime. It was in 1999 when he made the U.S. National B Team. He was only fifteen when he became the youngest American male swimmer to compete at an Olympic Games in 68 years.
In Athens in 2004, his haul of six gold and two bronze medals was one of the most amazing performances in Olympic swimming history. He went on to be possibly the greatest ever Olympic Games athlete. In 2008 in Beijing he won all eight of the events he competed in. At the 2012 Olympics, he won four golds and two silver, leaving him with a tally of 22 Olympic medals (18 of them gold). He came back from retirement for the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he picked up even more medals in his forth Olympic Games appearance. He is being hailed as 'the greatest Olympian of all time'.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Phelps is ranked as the most decorated Olympian in history. Phelps has 18 Olympic gold medals, 26 World Championships (LC) gold medals, 1 World Championships (SC) gold medal and 16 Pan Pacific Championships gold medals. He set the record for most medals of any Olympic athlete in history. Michael Phelps became World Swimmer of the Year seven times, FINA Swimmer of the Year in 2012 and American Swimmer of the Year nine times.
Why is He So Good?
Michael Phelps’ advantages are his height, weight and the length of both his arms and legs. His long torso and short legs lessen his drag and allow for utmost forward motion. His wingspan is 208cm providing great levers for him to pull himself all the way through the water. His large hands and size 14 feet is what all he needs to swim really fast. Also, Phelps has astonishing powers of recovery. Just like any other notable and successful athlete, Michael Phelps is a man who doesn't know how to quit.
What You May Not Know
- He stands 6’4” and has reportedly has size 14 feet. He weighs 200 pounds.
- Phelps’ first stroke that he mastered was backstroke.
- In 2001 Phelps broke the world record in the 200 m butterfly to become the youngest man ever to set a swimming world record (15 years and 9 months).
- He and his sisters Whitney and Hilary started swimming when they joined a local swim team.
When Michael Phelps was 7, he was still “a little scared” to put his head under water so his instructors allowed him to float around on his back.
- He wrote two books “Beneath the Surface; My Story” in 2008 and “No Limits: The Will to Succeed” in 2009.
- Michael Phelps is engaged to his longtime on and off again girlfriend Nicole Johnson in February 2015.
Was he a legend?
Do you agree with Michael Phelps being a legend of swimming?
How would you rate their greatness? (from good to 'the best')
- Michael Phelps' autobiography Michael Phelps: Beneath the Surface
- Hero Rating for Michael Phelps
- What Elite Athletes Eat: Michael Phelps
- Profile of Phelp's past rival in the pool, Ian Thorpe
- Who is better between Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps? See this head-to-head comparison.
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