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Summary Article: Phelps, Michael (Fred)
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US swimmer who is the most decorated Olympian in history, winning 28 medals, of which 23 were gold. He won eight medals at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, of which six were gold. By so doing, he became just the second athlete in history, along with Soviet gymnast Aleksandr Dityatin, to earn eight medals at a single Olympics. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he won gold in each of the eight events he entered, setting world records in seven of them, and breaking Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals from the 1972 Olympics. At his third Olympic Games in London 2012, Phelps won another six medals (four gold, two silver), easily surpassing Larisa Latynina's previous record of 18 Olympic medals. In his final Olympics, Rio 2016, he won a further five gold medals and one silver. He set 29 individual world records in five events over the course of his career, adding another ten world records in relay events.

Career highlights

Olympic Games gold 100-metre butterfly 2004, 2008, 2012; gold 200-metre butterfly 2004, 2008, 2016; gold 200-metre individual medley 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016; gold 400-metre individual medley 2004, 2008; gold 200-metre freestyle 2008; gold 4 × 100-metre freestyle relay 2008, 2016; gold 4 × 200-metre freestyle relay 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016; gold 4 × 100-metre medley relay 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016; silver 200-metre butterfly 2012; silver 4 × 100-metre freestyle relay 2012; silver 100-metre butterfly 2016; bronze 200-metre freestyle 2004; bronze 4 × 100-metre freestyle relay 2004

World Championships gold 200-metre freestyle 2005, 2007; gold 100-metre butterfly 2007, 2009, 2011; gold 200-metre butterfly 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011; gold 200-metre individual medley 2003, 2005, 2007; gold 400-metre individual medley 2003, 2007; gold 4 × 100-metre freestyle relay 2005, 2007, 2009; gold 4 × 200-metre freestyle relay 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011; gold 4 × 100-metre medley relay 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011; silver 100-metre butterfly 2003, 2005; silver 200-metre freestyle 2011; silver 200-metre individual medley; silver 4 × 200-metre freestyle relay 2003; bronze 4 × 100-metre freestyle relay

World Short Course Championships gold 200-metre freestyle 2004

At the age of 15, Phelps swam at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and placed fifth in the 200-metre butterfly. The following year he broke the world record for the event, becoming, at age 15 years 9 months, the youngest male ever to set a swimming world record. Four months later, he won his first world championship title, setting another world record in the 200-metre butterfly. At the 2003 World Championships, Phelps won four gold medals, all in world-record time, and a further two silver medals. At the 2005 World Championships, he won five gold medals and a silver. At the 2007 World Championships, he won seven gold medals, setting five world records in the process. By the end of the 2011 World Championships, he had won a total of 26 World Championship gold medals, as well as six silvers and a bronze. Phelps came out of retirement in April 2014, winning three gold medals at the Pan Pacific Championships, but in October that year he was suspended from swimming for six months after his second career arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. He retired for a second time after the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

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