The Aqua Man : Michael Phelps

Ever hear the saying about swimmers with big hands and feet? They’re sunk unless they’ve got the ability and heart to match. Not a problem for Michael Phelps, the greatest all around competitor in the history of his sport. Every time he splashed into the water, he was determined to produce a once in a lifetime performance according him rock star status among swim fans and drawing a tidal wave of attention from the non chlorinated world, as well. Iron Mike began his career hoping to win a few medals and inspire others to embrace competitive swimming. Four Olympics later, he stands as the most decorated athlete in the history of the Summer Games. This is his story…

Michael Phelps was born on June 30, 1985 to Fred and Debbie Phelps. Michael Phelps is a retired American swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (18, double the second highest record holders), Olympic gold medals in individual events (11), and Olympic medals in individual events for a male (13). In winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps took the record for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. Five of those victories were in individual events, tying the single Games record. In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won four golds and two silver medals, making him the most successful athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row.

Phelps is the long course world recordholder in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly and 400-meter individual medley as well as the former long course world recordholder in the 200-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley. He has won a total of 71 medals in major international long-course competition, 57 gold, 11 silver, and three bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships. Phelps’s international titles and record-breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award six times and American Swimmer of the Year Award eight times. His unprecedented Olympic success in 2008 earned Phelps Sports Illustrated magazine’s Sportsman of the Year award.

After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles. He expects to do further work with his foundation after the 2012 Olympics, which he has said will be his last.

Sources : Youtube, Google Images, Michael Phelps profile

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