Michael Phelps - Most Successful Swimmer of All Times


Michael Phelps, the most successful swimmer of all times, ended his career after his last appearance at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He won a total of 28 Olympic medals, 23 of them in gold. In the 2008 Beijing games he broke Mark Spitz's legendary record, winning 8 gold medals at a single Olympics.

In the 2016 Olympic Games, Phelps won 5 gold medals and one in silver. His last competition was the butterfly leg in the 4X100m men's relay, After the event Michael Phelps, at the age of 31,  declared the end of his so successful career. The American swimmer came back from retirement after the 2012 Olympics in London. In Rio, he was chosen to lead America's Olympic team into the stadium and carry the flag.

Born in Baltimore, Michael was the youngest of three children.  He began swimming at the age of 7. By the time he reached 10 he had already held a national record for swimmers of his age in the 100 meter butterfly event. In 2000 he became the youngest male to join the US Olympic swimming team in 68 years. At his first games in Sydney, Phelps finished fifth in the 200m butterfly event. In the following years Phelps dominated the swimming world. He competed in 6 single events, including butterfly, freestyle and backstroke as well as the medley races. Phelps not only became the world's best swimmer, but also inspired other Americans . At the Rio games, the United States was the world's most successful swimming nation.



Although rival Ryan Lochte and other swimmers predict that Phelps might be back for the 2020 games in Tokyo, the swimming superstar stated that this was his last goodbye. Now, Michael Phelps wants to spend more time working with his foundation, which he created after the Beijing Olympics to make swimming more popular among young people. He also wants more time with his family.



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  • although = while
  • appearance = here: take part in
  • butterfly leg = here: part of a medley race
  • choose = select
  • competition = race
  • declare = to say officially
  • dominate = to be number one, the best
  • foundation = organisation that collects money for special things
  • inspire = to make others feel the same and be successful
  • legendary = very famous and much admired
  • male = man
  • medley race = part of a race in which 4  swimmers each swim the same distances using different swimming techniques
  • national record = here: to swim the fastest time in your country
  • predict = to say that something will happen
  • retirement = here: when you have stopped competing in races
  • rival = here: the athlete that you compete against
  • single = only one
  • state = say in public
  • successful = here: to be very good at something and win many medals