Phelps, Michael Fred

Phelps, Michael Fred,

1985–, American swimmer, b. Baltimore. One of the world's greatest competitive swimmers, Phelps became (2001) the youngest world record holder (in the 200-m butterfly) at 15 and set an unprecedented five world records at the 2003 world championships. Phelps won six gold and two bronze medals in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, eight gold medals in the 2008 Beijing games, four gold and two silver medals in the 2012 London games, and five gold and one silver medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games, making him the most successful athlete at each Olympics. He set Olympic records for most medals (28, previously held by Larisa LatyninaLatynina, Larysa or Larisa Semyonovna,
1934–, Soviet-Ukrainian gymnast, the dominant female gymnast of her era, b. Kherson.
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), for most gold medals at a single Olympics (eight, previously held by Mark SpitzSpitz, Mark Andrew,
1950–, American swimmer, b. Modesto, Calif. He held records for winning the most gold medals at one Olympic game (seven, in 1972 at Munich) and shared the record for most Olympic gold medals overall (nine, 1968–72) until surpassed in both by
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), and for most gold (23) and individual gold (13) medals. At the 2008 Olympics he also set world record times in seven events (200-m freestyle, 200-m butterfly, 200-m and 400-m individual medleys, and three relays) and an Olympic record in the 100-m butterfly. Overall, individually and in relays, he has won 66 international swimming events and set 39 world records during his career.