A Brief History
On August 17, 2008, 6 foot 4 inch tall American swimmer Michael Phelps broke the previous record held by American swimmer Mark Spitz by winning his 8th Olympic Gold Medal at a single Olympic Games.
Not only a single Olympics wonder, Phelps excelled at the 2004, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympic Games as well as at the 2008 event, winning a record of 28 Olympic Medals, of which 23 were the coveted Gold Medals.
Phelps is the current or former World Record holder in 5 events, and during his career, won more Olympic Medals than 161 entire countries! He retired in 2016 at the age of 31, and is generally considered the greatest swimmer of all time, if not the greatest athlete in human history.
Question for students (and subscribers): Who gets your vote as the greatest swimmer ever? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Phelps, Michael and Alan Abrahamson. No Limits: The Will to Succeed. Free Press, 2009.
Phelps, Michael and Brian Cazenueve. Beneath the Surface: My Story. Sports Publishing, 2016.
The featured image in this article, a photography by Bryan Allison of American swimmer Michael Phelps, along with his teammates, celebrating winning gold in the men’s 4 x 100-meter medley relay, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.