Michael Phelps (Bio)
Michael Fred Phelps II is known principally as the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 Olympic medals, 23 of them gold, spanning over four Olympic Games. He has actually competed at five Olympics; however, he did not medal at his first Games in Sydney, Australia. He is recognized for his formidable butterfly, though he also specializes in individual medleys and the 100 and 200-meter freestyle. At 31-years-old, Phelps retired from swimming as the greatest of all-time. His retirement came just days after finishing his fifth Olympics with five golds and a silver medal.
"If you want to be the best, you have to do things other people aren't willing to do."
Phelps is the long course world record holder in the 100 meter butterfly, 200 meter butterfly, and 400 meter individual medley as well as the former long course world record holder in the 200 meter freestyle and 200 meter individual medley. He has won 82 medals in major international long course competition, of which 65 were gold, 14 silver, and 3 bronze, spanning the Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships. Phelps's international titles and record-breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award eight times and American Swimmer of the Year Award eleven times, as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2012 and 2016. Phelps earned Sports Illustratedmagazine's Sportsman of the Year award due to his unprecedented Olympic success in the 2008 Games .
After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles. Phelps retired following the 2012 Olympics, but he made a comeback in April 2014. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, his fifth Olympics, he was selected by his team to be the flag bearer of the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics Parade of Nations. He announced his second retirement on August 12, 2016.