Michael Phelps

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Michael Phelps
Born June 30, 1985 (age 21)
Flag of United States Baltimore, Maryland
Occupation Swimmer
Olympic medal record
Men's Swimming
Gold 2004 Athens 400 meter individual medley
Gold 2004 Athens 200 m butterfly
Gold 2004 Athens 4x200 m freestyle relay
Gold 2004 Athens 200 m individual medley
Gold 2004 Athens 100 m butterfly
Gold 2004 Athens 4x100 m medley relay
Bronze 2004 Athens 4x100 m freestyle relay
Bronze 2004 Athens 200 m freestyle

Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American swimmer and world-record holder in several events. Phelps' achievements include a record of eight medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, six of which were gold, tying the Olympic record for medals at single Olympics, held by Alexander Dityatin since 1980.[1] His international titles, along with his various world records, have resulted in him being named World Swimmer of the Year three times in 2003, 2004, and 2006.

Contents

[edit] Career

[edit] Early career

At the age of 15, Phelps first appeared at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney as the youngest American male swimmer at an Olympic Games in 68 years. While he did not win a medal, he was fifth in the 200 m Butterfly. Phelps proceeded to make a name for himself in swimming shortly thereafter. Five months after the Sydney Olympics, Phelps broke the world record in the 200 m butterfly to become, at 15 years and 9 months, the youngest man ever to set a swimming world record. He then broke his own record again at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan (1:54.58). At the 2002 Summer Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Phelps also broke the world record for the 400 m individual medley and set American marks in the 100 m butterfly and the 200 m individual medley.

In 2003, Phelps broke his own world record in the 400 m individual medley (4:09.09) and in June, he broke the world record in the 200 m individual medley (1:56.04). Then on July 7, 2004, Phelps broke his own world record again in the 400 m individual medley (4:08.41) during the U.S. trials for the 2004 Summer Olympics.

[edit] 2004 Summer Olympic Games

See also: Swimming at the 2004 Summer Olympics

Phelps' dominance has brought comparisons to former swimming great Mark Spitz,[2] who won seven gold medals in the 1972 Summer Olympics, a world record. Phelps tied Mark Spitz's record of 4 individual gold medals by winning four himself. Phelps had the chance to break Spitz's record of 7 total gold medals in the 2004 Athens Olympics by competing in eight swimming events (5 of which were individual events): the 200 m freestyle, the 100 m butterfly, the 200 m butterfly, the 200 m individual medley, the 400 m individual medley, the 4x100 m freestyle relay, 4x200 m freestyle relay, and the 4x100 m medley relay. However, his 4x100 m freestyle relay team only won the bronze medal, and he personally placed for bronze in the 200 m freestyle. Thus, he fell short of that record. However, he did win eight medals in one Olympics, a feat only achieved by Alexander Dityatin, a gymnast, in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

Had he won seven golds, he would have been eligible for a US$1 million bonus from his sponsor, Speedo.[3] Only a few days before the beginning of the swimming competition in Athens 2004, however, Gary Hall Jr. and Jason Lezak, both of whom were aiming to be on the U.S. 4x100 m freestyle team, publicly criticized the possibility of allowing Phelps to swim in the event.[citation needed] In the view of some, they claimed that Phelps is not a top swimmer in the event and his presence could compromise the US team's performance in the name of what was called a "media circus" for Phelps to win eight gold medals.[citation needed] More specifically though, they claimed that he had not swum the 100 m freestyle at Olympic Trials, and although having posted one of the top times in the nation, he should not have expected to gain an automatic berth.[citation needed]

On August 14, 2004, he won his first Olympic gold, in the 400 m individual medley, setting another new world record (4:08.26). On August 16 he was beaten by the Australian winner Ian Thorpe and the Dutch Pieter van den Hoogenband in 200 m freestyle final, called the race of the century.[4]

On August 20, in the 100 m butterfly final, Phelps defeated American teammate Ian Crocker (who holds the world record in the event) by just 0.04 seconds. Traditionally, the Olympian who places highest in an individual event will be automatically given the corresponding leg of the 4x100 m medley relay. This gave Phelps an automatic entry into the medley relay but he deferred and Crocker swam instead. The American medley team went on to win the event in world record time, and, since he had raced in a preliminary heat of the medley relay, Phelps was also awarded a gold medal along with the team members that competed in the final.

[edit] Personal life

Michael has two older sisters, Whitney and Hilary. Both excelled at swimming. Whitney was a promising swimmer but phased her swimming skills into a more recreational rather than competitive field due to a debilitating back injury.

Phelps graduated from Towson High School in the summer of 2003.

Phelps, along with Ian Crocker and Lenny Krayzelburg, founded the "Swim with the Stars" program. This program promotes swimming and conducts camps for swimmers of all ages.

As of 2007, Phelps is now attending University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Phelps is following his longtime coach, Bob Bowman, who left Phelps' previous swim team, the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, to become the head swimming coach of the University of Michigan varsity swim team. Phelps is also serving as a volunteer assistant coach and is taking classes, intending to major in sports marketing or sports management. Phelps cannot swim for the team, however, because his endorsement deals with Speedo and other companies have caused him to forfeit his amateur status. He is sponsored by Speedo, Visa, Omega, PowerBar, and Matsunichi [1].

[edit] DUI incident

On November 4, 2004, Phelps was arrested for driving under the influence after being pulled over for running a stop sign, having a specific blood alcohol content of .08. Phelps pled guilty to driving while impaired, avoiding charges of driving under the influence, underage drinking, and failure to stop at a stop sign. Phelps was sentenced to 18 months of probation, fined $250, required to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) meeting, and give speeches to students at three area high schools by June 1, 2005.[5]

[edit] Major achievements

[edit] International Events

Year Meet Venue Distance Event Result
2001 World Championships (LC) Fukuoka, Japan 200 m Butterfly 1st (WR)
2002 Pan Pacific Championships Yokohama, Japan 200 m Butterfly 2nd
200 m Individual Medley 1st
400 m Individual Medley 1st
4 x 200 m Freestyle Relay 2nd
4 x 100 m Medley Relay 1st (WR)
2003 World Championships (LC) Barcelona, Spain 100 m Butterfly 2nd
200 m Butterfly 1st (WR)
200 m Individual Medley 1st (WR)
400 m Individual Medley 1st (WR)
4 x 200 m Freestyle Relay 2nd (AR)
4 x 100 m Medley Relay 1st
2004 Summer Olympics Athens, Greece 200 m Freestyle 3rd (AR)
100 m Butterfly 1st (OR)
200 m Butterfly 1st (OR)
200 m Individual Medley 1st (OR)
400 m Individual Medley 1st (WR)
4 x 100 m Medley Relay 1st
4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay 3rd
4 x 200 m Freestyle Relay 1st (AR)
World Championships (SC) Indianapolis, Indiana, USA 200 m Freestyle 1st
2005 World Championships (LC) Montreal, Quebec, Canada 200 m Freestyle 1st
100 m Butterfly 2nd
200 m Individual Medley 1st
4 x 100 m Medley Relay 1st
4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay 1st
4 x 200 m Freestyle Relay 1st
2006 Pan Pacific Championships Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 200 m Backstroke 2nd
200 m Butterfly 1st
200 m Individual Medley 1st (WR)
400 m Individual Medley 1st
4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay 1st (WR)
4 x 200 m Freestyle Relay 1st (AR)
2007 World Championships (LC) Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay 1st
4 x 200 m Freestyle Relay 1st (WR)
200 m Freestyle 1st (WR)
200 m Butterfly 1st (WR)
200 m Individual Medley 1st (WR)
100 m Butterfly 1st
400 m Individual Medley 1st (WR)

LC: long course - 50 m pool; SC: short course - 25 m pool.

[edit] U.S. National Titles

100 m free (3): '05 SPG, '04 SPG, '03 SUM
200 m free (5): '06 SUM, '05 SPG, '04 SPG, '03 SUM (AR), '03 SPG
400 m free (2): '05 SPG, '03 SUM (AR)
200 m back (3): '04 SPG, '03 SUM, '03 SPG
100 m fly (6): '06 SUM, '05 SPG, '04 SPG (USO), '03 SPG, '02 SUM (AR), ’01 SUM
200 m fly (4): '06 SUM, '05 SUM, '02 SUM (USO), '01 SPG (WR)
200 m IM (6): '06 SUM, '05 SPG, '04 SPG, '03 SUM (WR), '02 SUM (AR), ’01 SUM
400 m IM (2): '06 SUM, '02 SUM (WR)
  • USA Swimming is currently in the process of moving away from having 2 National Championships per year to only 1. As a result, he has not and may not attend many more Spring Nationals.

[edit] Currently held records

Record Distance Event Time Location Date
WR 200m (lc) Freestyle 1:43.86 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2007 March 27
200m (lc) Butterfly 1:52.09 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2007 March 28
200m (lc) Individual Medley 1:54.98 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2007 March 29
400m (lc) Individual Medley 4:06.22 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2007 April 1
4 x 100m (lc) Freestyle Relay 3:12.46 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 2006 August 19
4 x 200m (lc) Freestyle Relay 7:03.24 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2007 March 30
AR
200m (sc) Freestyle 1:43.78 East Meadow, New York, USA 2006 February 4
200m (sc) Butterfly 1:52.27 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2003 November 28
200m (sc) Individual Medley 1:54.85 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2003 November 29
200yd Freestyle 1:32.08 Austin, Texas, USA 2005 March 3
200yd Butterfly 1:39.70 Austin, Texas, USA 2006 March 4
400yd Individual Medley 3:36.26 Austin, Texas, USA 2006 March 3

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

Preceded by
Ian Thorpe
World Swimmer of the Year
2003-2004
Succeeded by
Grant Hackett
Preceded by
Grant Hackett
World Swimmer of the Year
2006
Succeeded by
incumbent