Michael Phelps is known to not only be one of the most determined athletes of all time, but his great drive to be successful has made him more than a role model to many. His drive has led him to be the most decorated swimmer ever with too many awards and honours to count.
Apart from the aforementioned awards, let’s look at some other interesting facts about Michael Phelps:
- Michael was born on June 30, 1985. His father, Fred, was an all-around athlete and a state trooper. While his mother Debbie was a middle-school principal. He was the youngest of their 3 children.
- He started swimming at age 7 because he wanted to vent out his energy. However, swimming became his professional choice when he watched Tom Malchow and Tom Dolan compete in the 1996 Summer Games.
- He was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was in 6th grade.
- When he was just 10, he made a national record for his age group and incepted his professional training under coach Bob Bowman. He later qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics at the age of 15. At 2001 World Aquatics Championships, he broke the world record in the 200-meter butterfly to be the youngest man ever to do so.
- Phelps at 15 years of age became the youngest swimmer to make the US Olympic team since 1932.
- At the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka, he got his 1st international medal when he broke his own record with the time of 1:54:58.
- In 2003, Phelps got 5 world records at the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. He then went on to break his own record in the 400-metre individual medley by setting a time of 4:08:41 at the U.S. trials for the 2004 Olympics.
- In the 2004 Olympics held in Athens, Michael Phelps won a total of 8 medals, with 6 gold.
- Four years later, he made history in the Beijing Olympics by winning 8 gold medals; he became the first Olympian to do so, at a single Olympic Games.
- By winning 4 gold and 2 silver medals, he was concluded as the most successful swimmer in the history of the Olympics.
- With 28 Olympic medals, he holds the records for- Olympic Gold Medals (23), Olympic Gold Medals in individual events (13) and overall Olympic Medals in individual events (16).
- Phelps has set up a Michael Phelps Foundation, which aims at increasing the awareness of swimming as a sport and focuses on promoting a healthy lifestyle. Later the foundation initiated two other programs, Level Field Fund-Swimming and Caps-for-a-Cause. Michael is also a national spokesman for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Harford Country, Maryland, and Pathfinders for Autism.
- After the 2004 Olympic games a street in his hometown, Baltimore was named after Michael Phelp.