At the tender age of 27, Michael Phelps has taken the world by storm. His exceptional swimming abilities have turned him into an Olympic Gold Medalist. He holds the world record for the most Olympic Gold Medals. Since his birth in 1985, Michael Phelps has dedicated the majority of his time to swimming since beginning the sport at the age of 7. After being diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, he used swimming as way to expend his energy in a healthy manner. At the age of 19, Michael Phelps participated in his first Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, where he won 6 gold and 2 bronze medals.
In the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Michael Phelps competed in the 400-m individual relay, where he made world record time of 4:08:26, and won his first gold medal. In the 4x100-m freestyle relay, Phelps swam with three other American swimmers only to place a disappointing third, blamed largely on the fact that Ian Crocker, one of the swimmers on the team, was sick and his time blew it for all of them. In the 200-m freestyle, Phelps came in third, losing his chance to beat 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist Mark Spitz’s record. Phelps went on to compete in four more races, winning first place, and breaking world records, in each. His highest score in the individual category provided him the chances to compete in the 4x100-m medley relay, but he deferred to give teammate Ian Crocker a chance to win a gold medal. The team won first place, and Phelps was awarded his sixth gold medal.
In between the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2008 Olympic Games, Michael Phelps went on to win several world championships and continued to break world records in the sport of swimming. In the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Michael Phelps went on to compete in eight events, winning the gold medal in each. In seven events, the swimmer set world records. In the remaining event, he set an Olympic record. As he won his third gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, Michael Phelps became the fifth athlete in history to win nine gold medals, joining the ranks of Olympic athletes Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis, Larisa Latynina, and Paavo Nurmi.
The following day, Michael Phelps won his tenth gold medal after winning the 200 m butterfly with water-filled goggles and the inability to see the last 100 meters of the race. This medal made Phelps the only Olympic athlete in modern history to win this many gold medals. His seventh gold medal in the 2008 Olympics tied Mark Spitz’s record for the single most gold medals won in one Olympic Games. He broke the record for the most Olympic gold medals won in a single year when he won his eighth medal on August 17, 2008.
Over the next four years, Michael Phelps went on to win even more gold medals, a few silvers, and a bronze medal in the World Championships and the Pan Pacific Championships. He qualified for the same eight races he raced in the 2008 Olympics for the 2012 Olympic Games, and is expected to swim in seven of them.