Michael PHELPS 略歴
Michael Phelps is arguably the greatest Olympian ever. Some might argue that Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis or Nadia Comaneci have a claim. But for sheer numbers of medals claimed, there is a clear, hands-down winner: Michael Phelps. Even given the fact that Phelps practices a sport in which extremely capable athlete can bag golds across different distances and strokes, his feats still blow away those of any other sportsperson.
Phelps has 28 medals in total: his 23 gold medals are more than double the count of his nearest rivals, and its not as if other swimmers have accrued silly numbers of medals, either. Apart from Spitz, Matt Biondi (USA, eight golds) and Jenny Thompson (USA, eight golds), no other swimmer worldwide has managed more than six gold medals in total. 23 is astonishing.
Phelps was born in Baltimore on June 30, 1985, and got serious with the sport after joining the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. He was raised by mother Deborah, alongside his sisters Hilary and Whitney, after his parents divorced.
A prodigy at his sport, he went to Sydney 2000 aged just 15 –the youngest man in the USA team for an Olympic Games in 68 years). He came close to the podium only in the 200m butterfly, where he finished fifth. From then on, he would dominate the next four Games, finishing the most decorated athlete at every one. In Athens he won six gold medals and two bronzes, falling just short of Mark Spitz’s world record (seven golds at Munich 1972).
Beijing 2008 would see the greatest ever medal haul by a single athlete in an Olympic Games. Phelps won eight golds – every event he entered – and broke World Records in seven of them. His record looks unlikely to be surpassed any time soon.
London 2012 was also astonishing – he got four golds and two silvers – while Rio 1016 saw him stage a historic comeback (he had decided to retire after London), aged 31, to bag five gold medals and one silver.
He is now retired and is married to Nicole, with whom he has three sons, Boomer, Becker and Maverick. Phelps works for his own charitable foundation, which has a particular emphasis on the mental health of children.