Originally posted on Philly Sports Live  |  Last updated 7/23/12

In the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, American swimmer, Michael Phelps, rose to the ranks of Olympic glory when he swam his way to eight gold medals. Phelps’ performance in Beijing not only set him above the greatest Olympic swimmers of all time, but it also put him the conversation surrounding the greatest Olympians this world has ever seen. Despite the legendary status Phelps has created for himself, the twenty-seven year old looks to add to his flawless Olympic resume in what he claims will be his last Olympic go-round.

Michael Phelps first rose to the scene during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney where he was the youngest male swimmer to represent the United States in the previous 68 years at just 15 years old. Even though he did not leave Sydney with a medal, he still put forth a remarkable performance as he placed fifth in the finals of the 200 meter butterfly.

Phelps would continue his Olympic run four years later in Athens as he again represented the United States qualifying for the 100 and 200 meter butterfly, 200 and 400 individual medley, 4×200 meter freestyle, 4×100 medley, 200 meter freestyle, 4×100 meter freestyle, and the 200 meter backstroke. In order to put more focus on the 200 meter freestyle, Michael Phelps decided to drop the 200 meter backstroke and ended up leaving Athens with six gold medals and two bronze medals.

Michael Phelps’ greatest Olympic showing to date came in the 2008 Olympics when Phelps broke several Olympic and world records; some of which were his own. Not only did Phelps walk away with numerous swimming records under his belt, he also set an all-Olympic record as his eight gold medal performances as his eighth gold medal win broke Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals won in a single Olympic games; a record that stood since 1972.

This year, Michael Phelps’ plan remains the same; win gold! The Olympic champion originally qualified for the same eight events he had dominated in Beijing although he later dropped the 200 meter freestyle to focus more on the 4×100 meter freestyle. Just by qualifying alone Michael Phelps has set a record as the most Olympic appearances out of the United States for any male. Look for the legendary Olympic athlete to go for gold and add to his glory.

Article by Matt Brown via Total Sports Live

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