Michael Phelps: The Greatest Olympian Ever

Michael Phelps -- the most decorated Olympian of all time -- ended his career after his fifth Olympic Games, in Rio, after winning five gold medals and a silver, taking his tally to 23 Olympic titles and 28 medals. A record unlikely to be beaten any time soon.

Michael Phelps made his Olympic debut at the 2000 games in Sydney as a 15-year-old. He reached the finals of the 200-meter butterfly, but finished fifth -- one of only two times that Phelps failed to medal in the Olympics.

Michael Phelps - 2004 Athens Olympics

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Phelps took the swimming world by storm winning six gold medals.

He took individual gold in the 100 and 200-meter butterflys, the 200 and 400-meter individual medleys, while earning bronze in the 200-meter freestyle.

Michael Phelps also earned gold in the 4×200 freestyle relay and 4×100 medley relay and added a bronze in the 4×100 freestyle relay.

Phelps set three individual Olympic records and one world record at the Athens Summer Olympics.

Michael Phelps - 2008 Beijing Olympics

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Phelps dominated winning a record eight gold medals by a single athlete in an Olympic Games breaking Mark Spitz's record for most gold medals in a single Olympics.

Phelps won his 8 gold medals in the 400-metre individual medley, 200-metre freestyle, 100-metre butterfly, 200-metre butterfly, 200-metre medley, 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley. Phelps set seven world records and one Olympic record.

Michael Phelps - 2012 London Olympics

At the 2012 London Olympics, Michael Phelps placed fourth behind fellow American Ryan Lochte, Thiago Pereira of Brazil, and Kosuke Hagino of Japan in the 400-meter individual medley. It was the first time Phelps failed to medal in an Olympic event since 2000.

Phelps won a silver as a member of the 4×100-meter free relay. Phelps swam the fastest leg for the US team and the second-fastest of anyone in the event. Phelps won a silver medal in the 200-meter butterfly behind South African Chad le Clos by 5/100ths of a second, and a gold medal in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, thereby equaling and then surpassing Larisa Latynina to become the all-time record holder for most Olympic medals won.

Phelps won his 16th Olympic gold medal when he edged out Ryan Lochte to win the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 1:54.27, and by that victory also became the first male swimmer to win the same event in three consecutive Olympics. The victory also marked Phelps' fifth Olympic title in the individual medley. He won the Olympic gold medal in the 100 meter butterfly. Phelps's final event was the 4×100-meter medley relay in which he went on to win his 18th career gold medal and his 22nd overall.

In total, Phelps won 4 gold and 2 silver medals at the 2021 London Summer Olympics

Michael Phelps - 2016 Rio Olympics

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Phelps focused on his best events. At 31 years old, Phelps medaled in all six of his races -- three individual races and three relays -- earning five golds and one silver. Michael Phelps finishes his Olympic career with an all-time best 28 medals. In 18 individual events, he earned 16 medals, 13 of which were gold.

Phelps broke a 2,168 year-old Olympic record. Leonidas of Rhodes had held the record for most individual Olympic wins since 152 BCE with 12.

Michael Phelps Olympic Medals

Michael Phelps finished his Olympics career as a five-time Olympian (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) and a 28-time Olympic medalist (23 golds, 3 silvers, 2 bronzes).

Olympic Games Event Medal
Athens 2004100m butterflyGold
Athens 2004200m butterflyGold
Athens 2004200m medleyGold
Athens 2004400m medleyGold
Athens 20044×200m freestyleGold
Athens 20044×100m medleyGold
Athens 2004200m freestyleBronze
Athens 20044×100m freestyleBronze
Beijing 2008200m freestyleGold
Beijing 2008100m butterflyGold
Beijing 2008200m butterflyGold
Beijing 2008200m medleyGold
Beijing 2008400m medleyGold
Beijing 20084×100m freestyleGold
Beijing 20084×200m freestyleGold
Beijing 20084×100m medleyGold
London 2012100m butterflyGold
London 2012200m medleyGold
London 20124×200m freestyleGold
London 20124×100m medleyGold
London 2012200m butterflySilver
London 20124×100m freestyleSilver
Rio 2016200m butterflyGold
Rio 2016200m medleyGold
Rio 20164×100m freestyleGold
Rio 20164×200m freestyleGold
Rio 20164×100m medleyGold
Rio 2016100m butterflySilver


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American Swimmer Michael Phelps is the Greatest Olympian Ever"