AndyO Blog

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Michael Phelps - 8 Olympic Gold Medals

I ended up watching quite a bit of the Olympics last night, even though I hadn't really planned on it. Every time I tried to get away from the TV, it seemed like there was some new record being broken -- or something being done that had never been done before.

Mark Spitz's record of 7 medals in one Olympic Games has been shattered by Michael Phelps, who won his 8th gold medal. There are already Visa advertisements congratulating Phelps (obviously prepared ahead of time), and arguments in the media about whether he's the greatest athlete of all time. I heard that Speedo, who sponsors Phelps, will pay him $1 million for breaking the Spitz record. 

My thoughts: Phelps has indeed joined the pantheon of legendary athletes who appear on Wheaties boxes in America, talk to late night talk show hosts, and write books to tell the secrets of their success. Not only did he win 8 gold medals, but in each event he did it in World Record or Olympic Record time.

While the media like to focus on individuals, Phelps could never have accomplished this feat without his fellow relay swimmers, who helped him win three of his eight medals. These are the nine swimmers who helped elevate Phelps to legendary status:

In addition to the preceding list of swimmers, there were additional swimmers who participated only in heats who also won gold medals (something I didn't know):

In the 4x100 meter freestyle relay, these swimmers were:

Nathan Adrian
Matt Grevers
Benjamin Wildman-Tobriner

In the 4x200 meter freestyle rely, these swimmers were:

David Walters
Erik Vendt
Klete Keller

And in the 4x100 meter medley relay, these swimmers were:

Matt Grevers
Mark Gangloff
Ian Crocker
Garrett Weber-Gale

Here are the 8 medals that Phelps (and the others) won:

Date (in Beijing)
Event Results
Time
August 10 400 m individual medley Gold Medal

4:03.84 World record

August 11 4 x 100 m freestyle relay Gold Medal 3:08.24 World record

August 12

200 m freestyle

Gold Medal

1:42.96 World record

August 13

200 m butterfly

Gold Medal

1:52.03 World record

August 13

4 x 200 m freestyle relay

Gold Medal

6:58.56 World record

August 15

200 m individual medley

Gold Medal

1:54.23 World record

August 16

100 m butterfly

Gold Medal

50.58 Olympic record

August 17

4 x 100 m medley relay

Gold Medal

3:29.34 World record

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