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Michael Phelps

Swimmer

Born: 30 June 1985
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland
Best known as:

The swimmer who won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Swimmer Michael Phelps has won 18 Olympic gold medals and 22 Olympic medals in all -- more than anyone in history. He won a remarkable eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (breaking the record of seven gold medals set by swimmer Mark Spitz in 1972) and won six gold and two bronze at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Michael Phelps was only 15 when he made the American team for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He placed fifth in the 200 meter butterfly, but his appearance there made him the youngest male Olympian since 1932, when 14-year-old Japanese swimmer Kusuo Kitamura won the 1500-meter freestyle at Los Angeles. Phelps's specialty is the shorter races, 100 to 400 meters in length. His records, world records and awards are almost too numerous to mention: he set his first world record at age 15 (the 200 meter butterfly at the 2001 U.S. Spring Nationals), was named USA Swimmer of the Year six times between 2001 and 2007, and set an unprecedented five individual world records at in one meet at the 2003 world championships in Barcelona. For the 2008 Olympics he qualified in eight events and won gold medals in every event, including world records in the 400 meter Individual Medley and the 200 meter Freestyle. Phelps entered seven events at the London Olympics of 2012, winning golds in the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay, the 200-meter individual medley, the 100-meter butterfly and the 4x100 medley relay, plus silvers in the 4x100-meter relay and in the 200-meter butterfly. His 22 total medals make him the most-decorated Olympican of all time.

Extra credit:

Michael Phelps is 6'4" tall and reportedly has size 14 feet... He won the 2003 Sullivan Award, given to the best amateur athlete in the United States... Gymnast Larissa Latynina holds the career record for Olympic medals, with 18: She won six each at the Olympics of 1956, 1960, and 1964... Michael Phelps went to the University of Michigan but was ineligible to swim there, having accepted a sponsorship deal from Speedo swim wear. He later won a $1 million bonus from Speedo for winning eight gold medals in Beijing... According to The San Francisco Chronicle, fans in Beijing nicknamed Michael Phelps the "Half-Man Half-Fish" and "Deep Sea Frog."

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