Sep 7, 2012, 9:56 AM EST
We first saw Michael Phelps as a 15-year-old swimming the 200m butterfly to a fifth place finish in Sydney, and even if we knew he was special then, we’re not sure anyone could have predicted what we’ve seen the last twelve years. On Tuesday Phelps became the most decorated Olympian in history when he swam his team to gold as anchor of the 4x200m free for his record 19th career medal. He’s since added three, upping his total to 22. Here’s a few numbers that break down his incredible career:
18 – Career golds won by Phelps. Twice as many as Larissa Latynina, Paavo Nurmi, Mark Spitz, and Carl Lewis, who each won nine.
48 – Years Latynina held the record after winning No. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
8 – Gold medals Phelps won at the 2008 Beijing Games, breaking Mark Spitz’s 40 year record of seven from the Munich Games.
29 – Times Phelps has broken a world record in an individual event.
37 – Times Phelps has broken a world record if you include relays.
2 – Career individual three-peats. Phelps won the 200m IM and 100m butterly in Athens, Beijing, and London. No other male swimmer has a single three-peat in an Olympic event.
22 – Medals Phelps officially ends his extraordinary career with.
0.05 – Combined time in which Phelps won his first two 100m butterfly golds. He beat Milorad Cavic by 0.01 in Beijing and beat teammate Ian Crocker by 0.04 in Athens.
0.23 – Time in which Phelps won the 100m butterfly Friday night after coming off the turn in seventh.
2 – Silver medals Phelps has won to go along with 18 gold and two bronze. Phelps didn’t finish second in any Olympics until Sunday’s 4x100m free relay and won another silver Tuesday night in the 200m fly.
6 – World Records Phelps currently holds in Olympic events, including the 100m fly, 200m fly, 400m IM, 4x100m free, 4x200m free, and 4x100m medley relay.
1 – Athlete who’s received a personal tweet of congratulations from President Obama during these Olympics: Michael Phelps.
0 – Equals.
Follow Olympics Talk on Twitter for more news than admittedly seems necessary.
- Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross confident after defeat in Brazil showdown 1
- Lindsey Vonn loses super-G standings lead, closes in on another record (video) 0
- Marcel Hirscher’s historically dominant win just about ends Ted Ligety’s title hopes (video) 0
- Lindsey Vonn lost in the fog in Bansko super combined 0
- Elana Meyers Taylor wins historic bobsled World Championship (video) 1
- World’s most athletic couple takes the next leap 0
- Is Simone Biles unbeatable? 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)