Olympics Gold raining for Phelps

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Olympics Gold raining for Phelps

Post  Piyush on Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:32 am

Michael Phelps became the first competitor in the history of the Olympics to win eight gold medals at single Games on Sunday, surpassing the record set by fellow US swimmer Mark Spitz 36 years ago. ( Watch )
With the United States' world record-setting victory in the men's 4x100m medley relay, which closed the swimming competition at the Water Cube, Phelps broke the record Spitz set in Munich in 1972, and which was once thought to be unassailable.

"I wanted to do something no one else had done in sport. This goes hand-in-hand with my goal of changing the sport of swimming," added Phelps, who staked his claim to be considered not only the greatest swimmer but also the supreme Olympian.

"The greatest thing is proving nothing is impossible," Phelps said. "So many people said it couldn't be done, but all it takes is an imagination. That is something I have learned."



Phelps had opened the swimming competition with a victory in the first event, the 400m individual medley, and went on to win the 200m medley, 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle and both the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays.



Seven of his golds - including the first six - all came with world records, while his seventh, in the 100m butterfly, was by a margin of just one one-hundredth of a second.

"It has been from getting my hand on the wall and winning by one one-hundredth to doing my best times in every event," he said. "It has been nothing but an upward rollercoaster, and it has also been nothing but fun."

In Athens four years ago, Phelps won six gold medals (100m and 200m butterfly, 200 and 400m individual medley, 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay), and two bronze (200m free and 4x100m free relay).

His 14 career gold medals are the most of any Olympian, with his nearest rivals Spitz, athletes Carl Lewis and Paavo Nurmi and Gymnast Larysa Latynina - who all won nine in their careers.

At the age of 23, Phelps has set a record for the total number of medals won by a male Olympian with 16.

Russian gymnast Nikolai Andrianov with 15 - seven gold, five silver and three bronze in 1972, 1976 and 1980 - had held the mark.

Only Latynina's 18 career medals exceed Phelps's total.

Piyush

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