Michael Phelps - The Most Decorated Olympian of All Times with 28 Medals

Most people nowadays recognize the name Michael Phelps. Most people would associate him with someone that swims fasts. However, with Michael Phelp’s seemingly superhuman abilities, he is more than just a fast swimmer.

With 28 Olympic gold medals under his belt, a feat no other person has accomplished, Michael Phelps is may be the pinnacle of what an Olympian truly means.

In this article, we are going to cover Micheal Phelps’s career and achievements.

Michael Phelps’s Career

Michael Phelps is no stranger to water and the plastic flooring around pools. According to his mother, he took Michael Phelps often to the local swimming pool to let him enjoy the water and teach him about water safety.

Michael Phelps's Career

Michael Phelps’s Olympic career began at a relatively young age of 15. At the time, he successfully qualified for his first Olympic games which were held at Sydney.

It also meant that Michael Phelps succeeded in becoming the youngest swimmer from America to have qualified for the Olympics in 68 years.

In 2001, Michael Phelps set his very first world record. The event was World Championships Trials, and he set the new world record for the 200-meter butterfly.

Then, Michael Phelps competed in the World Championship which was held in Japan at the time. At the event, He broke his own record for the 200-meter fly and also bagged his first ever world championship in the process.

However, it was during 2004 that Michael Phelps’s swimming abilities were pushed to the world’s center stage. In Athens, Michael Phelps scooped eight gold medals, six of which was gold.

In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps won eight gold medals while participating in eight events. During the 200-meter butterfly event, Michael Phelps beat his rival Laszlo Cseh by a fraction of a second.

The really astonishing part is that during final 100 meters of the race, Michael Phelps’s goggles filled-up with water which made him unable to see anything.

However, it was the Michael Phelps’s 100-meter swim race that is probably the most famous race of his career.

At that event, Michael Phelps beat Milorad Cavic by a very small margin that led to Milorad Cavic appealing for the judge’s decision. In the end, Michael Phelps’s win was upheld, earning him another gold medal.

The 2012 London Olympics was the planned final act of Michael Phelps. However, he had a relatively disappointing run. In fact, during his best event, he lost to Chad Le Clos for the 200-meter butterfly event.

Soon after the 2012 Olympics, Michael Phelps announced that he would be retiring.

Thankfully for the fans, Michael Phelps announced his coming out of retirement months prior to the 2016 Olympics.

In fact, Michael Phelps was voted to hold the American flag during the opening ceremony. Keep in mind that Rio Olympics is the only Olympic opening ceremony event that he participated.

During the 2016 Olympics, Michael Phelps grabbed another 5 Olympic gold medals. This earned him a total of 28 Olympic medals, 23 of which are gold.

This also means that Michael Phelps owns the most Olympic medals in history. Nobody else in history has earned more than eighteen Olympic medals before Michael Phelps.

As of the moment, Michael Phelps is officially retired. However, it won’t be surprising to see him in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, especially considering that he may want his to son witness him compete.

Michael Phelps’s Amazing Achievements

With so many Olympic medals under his belt, it’s not surprising for Michael Phelps to be on the receiving end of multiple honorary achievements. Below are a few of them.

Swimming World Magazine named Michael Phelps as the World Swimmer Of The Year for 2003 and 2004.

He only skipped the award for 2005. Then, he went on a winning streak from 2006 to 2009. He got the award again during the years 2012 and 2016.

Swimming World Magazine also has another entry for the American Swimmer Of The Year Award. Michael Phelps won the award from the years 2001 to 2004.

With only a one year absence, he managed to streak the award again from 2006 to 2009. For the years, 2012, 2015 and 2016, Michael Phelps won the award again.

He also won other prestigious awards from Golden Goggle, SwimSwam Swammy Award, USOC, James E. Sullivan Award, Gazzetta Dello Sport, Laureus, Sports Illustrated and Associated Press.


As often portrayed as the ultimate Olympian, it’s no wonder that he is also a source of many inspirational quotes.

Below are a few of the memorable ones.

“I separate my personal life from swimming”

– Michael Phelps’s coach would testify to this. According to his coach, Michael Phelps is rigidly focused on the pool.

Outside the interlocking tiles of a swimming pool, he is one of the kindest hearted people on the planet according to Michael Phelps’s coach.

In fact, when he’s not in the pool, he’s often seen teaching kids about being safe in the water.

“If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do”

– this quote is a reflection of Michael Phelps’s work ethics. He is a man of intense focus, optimizing everything in his life for swimming from his music selection, calorie intake to intense training regimen.

“I can control my own performance. If I do my best, then I can feel good at the end of the day”

– it’s Michael Phelps’s way of saying that the only aspect in the game you have full control over is yourself. Hence, do as much as possible to hone such advantage.

“I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.”

– it’s Michael Phelps’s version of saying that if your goals don’t make you uncomfortable, then your goals are not big enough.

“The more you dream, the more you achieve.”

– Michael Phelps is a big believer in dreaming and setting goals. If you want to succeed in life, then both are a must.

Closing Thoughts

With 28 Olympic medals on his scorecard, Michael Phelps is one of the most successful Olympians in history.

He is the perfect example of how far you can go with the right dreams, goals, focus and work ethics.

According to Michael Phelps, when he retires, he will focus on bringing awareness about water safety.

Aside from focusing on teaching kids and adults how to be safe on the water, he is also big on making pools safer like using the best outdoor mats, pool safety equipment and lifeguards.

To close, here’s a video of a compilation of Michael Phelps’s Olympic performance:

Photos from: zhukovsky / depositphotos.com, ESPA / depositphotos.com. 

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