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:
- Aaron Peirsol
- Brendan Hansen
- Jason Lezak
- Garrett Weber-Gale
- Cullen Jones
- Jason Lezak
- Ryan Lochte
- Ricky Berens
- Peter Vanderkaay
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:
In the 4x200 meter freestyle rely, these swimmers were:
And in the 4x100 meter medley relay, these swimmers were:
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 August 11 4 x 100 m freestyle relay Gold Medal 3:08.24
Labels: Olympics 2008