Michael Fred Phelps, the most decorated swimmer of all times and the most celebrated athlete ever in the history of the sports. His unwavering untiring determination and focus went on to create waves in the water and became the main reason behind his success at the highest stage. Achieving countless honors, awards and medals during his career he has become the greatest athlete in history to ever grace the sport. Let’s dig some interesting facts about Micheal Phelps-
1. Early Life and family
Phelps was born on June 30, 1985, and nurtured in the Rodgers Forge near Towson, Maryland. His father, Fred, was an all-around athlete and a state trooper. Whereas, his mother Debbie was a middle-school principal. He was the youngest among their 3 children.
Source: Wikipedia, image: vh1.com
At the age of 7, he started swimming mainly because of his sisters and also to vent out his energy. It was while watching Tom Malchow and Tom Dolan compete in the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta that Phelps dreamt of making it big by turning swimming into his professional choice.
3. Diagnosed with ADHD
He was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder when he was in 6th grade. It’s a childhood brain disorder which has a period from adolescence and adulthood. In this, the patient faces difficulty in staying focused and paying attention, difficulty in controlling behavior and over-activity.
4. First dip
When he was 7, he was tentative to put his head under water, hence, was asked to float around on his back. And due to this, the first stroke he mastered was the backstroke.
Source: biography.com, image: vh1.com
5. Fairytale start
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.
6. Youngest swimmer of US Olympic team
7. Rise to glory
8. 5 world records in an event
In 2003, Phelps got 5 world records at the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. Then, in the U.S. trials for the 2004 Summer Olympics, he broke his own world in the 400 meter individual medley, by setting a time of 4:08:41.
9. Glory at the 2004 Olympic Games
By winning a total of 8 medals, with 6 gold, he was a complete sensation in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
10. Dominated the 2008 Beijing Olympics
11. 2012 London Olympics
By winning 4 gold and 2 silver medals, he was concluded as the most successful swimmer in Olympics. Only 8 countries have won as many golds as he did there.
Phelps was arrested twice for drinking and driving. Once in Salisbury, Maryland and then again in 2014 in Baltimore. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve 18 months probation, fined $250 in the former and was suspended from all competitions for six months after the second incident. In 2009, a photograph was also published of Phelp smoking marijuana.
Source: Wikipedia, image: swimswam.com
13. Putting an end to the controversies
During the 2008 Olympics Phelps was questioned whether perhaps his feats were “too good to be true”, a reference to unsupported rumors that he might be taking performance enhancing drugs. In response, Phelps noted that he had signed up for Project Believe, a project by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in which U.S. Olympians can volunteer to be tested in excess of the World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines and passed all nine tests that were administered to him.
14. Total medals in Olympic career
15. Richest Swimmer
With a net worth of around $55 million, he is counted among the richest Olympians ever. He has endorsed for Subway, Hilton, Speedo, Visa, Omega, Power Bar and Matsunichi.
16. Feather’s in cap
He won the Swimming World Magazine World Swimmer award 7 times, Swimming World Magazine American Swimmer award 9 times, Sullivan Award, Kiphuth Award and many more.
17. Used 2 swim caps
Phelps prefers wearing 2 swim caps inorder to smooth out wrinkles, increases the grip of the goggles and to make himself more aerodynamic. But he was troubled by this in 2008 as his goggles got filled with water.
Source: tsminteractive.com, image: flickr
18. Nick names
Because of his achievements, he’s often called as “Iron Mike.” His teammates called him ”Gomer”.
19. Bob bowman
Phelps has trained under Bob Bowman since he was 11 years old. He says Bowman reminded him of a drill sergeant because of his disciplined and regimented ways. However, Phelps also said, “Training with Bob is the smartest thing I’ve ever done … I’m not going to swim for anyone else.”
Source: Wikipedia, image: articles.baltimoresun.com
20. Noble works
Phelps had set up a Michael Phelps Foundation, which aims at increasing the awareness of swimming as a sport and focuses on promoting 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.
Source: thefamouspeople.com, image: wikipedia
21. Solitary man
Phelp’s determination and focus towards swimming barely gave him time to indulge himself romantically. His coach once described him as a ‘solitary man’. Now that he is retired, he recently announced his engagement to girlfriend Nicole Johnson.
Source: thefamouspeople.com, image: justjared.com
22. Michael Phelp’s way
After the 2004 Olympic games a street in his hometown, Baltimore was named after Michael Phelp.