Image From: Reuters
Just when everyone thought he was losing his streak of winning US swimmer Michael Phelps was back in the list of winners with a bang. By grabbing the 19th medal of his career as France and China walk with Silver and bronze respectively Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time.
"I started smiling with about 20 meters to go," he said after winning. "That's the first time I've ever done that."
Handed a sizable lead for the anchor of the 4x200, Phelps had the luxury of enjoying his trip. Coming off disappointing results in the 4x100-meter relay and 200-meter freestyle, Ryan Lochte delivered a powerful performance in the first leg which resulted in Conor Dwyer enjoying an early lead.
With Phelps hitting the water competitors could not get any close. Phelps has 15 gold medals in his career, six more than anyone else, to go along with two silvers and two bronzes. Throughout the last two Olympic events held in Athens and Beijing there were just two events when he ended up with the bronze medal, but still managed to add medals to his portfolio.
He reached the pinnacle of his career during the Beijing Olympics when he became the undisputed champion in all competitions walking home with eight gold medals. At the same time journey towards glory has not been easy for Phelps.
In the year 2004 when he was 19, Phelps was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Salisbury, Maryland. Later commenting on the incident he said that he had indeed let his people down. However, much greater than this was 2009 publication where Phelps was shown using a water pipe, a device used for smoking tobacco or marijuana.
The incident resulted in the loss of Kellogg as a sponsor, as well as three month suspension from USA Swimming. Admitting that the photograph was authentic he publicly apologized for his inappropriate behavior. Many believed that after such setbacks Phelps will not be able to reinstate his former glory. But London 2012 served as the return of the king of swimming.
He not only silenced his doubters with a record 19th medal, but also reestablished his position as the ultimate swimming champion.
Below is a compilation of some of his best performances from Athens, Beijing and London Olympics. Have a look.
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