Eight races, Eight Golds

In Beijin, China, on August 17, 2008, Michael Phelps became the first Olympian to ever win eight gold medals at one Olympic Games.

The swimmer from the United States was competing in his second Olympics. He was a favorite for many of his races, and once he dove into the pool the crowd went wild. The more medals he won the louder they seemed to get. The men’s 100 meter butterfly set an Olympic Record, but not a world record. The other seven gold medals were awarded to Phelps at World Record pace. Those races started with the 200 meter freestyle and went on with the 4×100 freestyle relay and the 100 meter butterfly. It ended with the 4×100 medley relay.

Phelp’s Olympic career was not restricted to the Beijing Olympics, but those were his most successful games. He swam in the 200 meter butterfly in the 2000 games in Sydney. He did not earn himself a medal in his event. Next up was 2004 in Athens. The “Race of the Century” was at hand. The 200 meter freestyle race gave Phelps a bronze medal, Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands was awarded silver and Ian Thorpe of Australia finished with the gold.

Phelps retired from Olympic glory at age 27 following the London games last summer. He finished his career with 22 medals, 18 of which were gold. Looking back, his Olympic legacy overshadows his party appearances that triggered many media frenzies. He will be remembered as one of the worlds greatest athletes to ever get the chance to compete in the Olympic games.

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