Michael Phelps, also known as The Flying Fish and the Baltimore Bullet, is the world’s most decorated Olympian in the history of the Games. The world-renowned swimmer, who hails from Baltimore, Maryland, in the USA, has won an astonishing world record of 28 Olympic medals covering various swimming events. Of these medals, 23 are gold. In effect, Michael Phelps, as an individual Olympic participant, has managed, over the course of three Olympic Games, to surpass the medals won by most countries in the entire history of the games for the past century. He also holds the record for winning the most gold medals in a single Olympic year, thereby breaking US swimmer Mark Spitz’s previous record of seven medals during the Munich Olympics of 1972. What makes his accomplishments even more astonishing, is that Michael Phelps took part in his first Olympics when he was only 15, as part of the US men’s swimming team.
Although Michael Phelps announced his retirement in 2012, he went back to professional competition two years later at the age of 28 and gained his spot in the 2016 US men’s Olympic swimming team, making him the first American male swimmer to earn a spot on five Olympic teams as well as the oldest individual gold medalist in Olympic swimming history.
Besides his many international titles, Michael Phelps has been the recipient of the World Swimmer of the Year Award six times, and the American Swimmer of the Year Award eight times. He has won a total of fifty-nine gold, seven silver, and two bronze medals during the course of his swimming career. He was also the recipient of Sports Illustrated magazine’s Sportsman of the Year award in 2008.
Michael Phelps has gone on to start the Michael Phelps Foundation. The aim of the foundation is to promote both a healthier lifestyle and the sport of swimming. He is also part of the US Anti-Doping Agency’s Believe Program. His participation in this programme sees him regularly tested for any performance-enhancing drugs.
The successful author of two books, Michael Phelps has also appeared on numerous media channels, including 60 Minutes, NBC, ABC, CBS, Channel One News, and ESPN First Take, to name but a few.
Michael Phelps is also concerned about mental health, and to this end, addressed a hushed audience at the Kennedy Forum who are a group that advocates about behavioral health. He was not hesitant to discuss his own battle against anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
A sought-after speaker, Michael Phelps concentrates on topics surrounding leadership, the Olympics, mindset, and dealing with depression.