Is Michael Phelps the Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time?

Published 11/22/2021, 2:32 PM EST


The former American swimmer, Michael Phelps, has always stood out as an inspiration. The phenomenal athlete is recognized as the most decorated Olympian of all time. Undoubtedly, his hard work and dedication are directly proportional to his successful career.

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Since the age of 15, Michael Phelps has aced every Olympics he took part in. He has an unbelievable 33 medals to his name, out of which, 23 are gold medals.

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However, Phelps had the chance to win multiple medals as a swimmer. Would he succeed similarly in another sport?

Would Phelps be the most successful Olympian ever if he wasn’t a swimmer?

Michael Phelps is well known for being one of the best swimmers in the world. Being the most successful Olympian of all time, the iconic athlete won many hearts. However, swimming is the only event where one can win multiple medals at a time.

A swimmer can win up to 8 medals in a single edition of the Olympic Games. In comparison, most sports have a maximum of 2-3 medals per sport.

Usually, in other sports, athletes specialize in a category and work towards dominating it. As for Michael Phelps, he dominated the pool as a whole, winning 8 gold medals in his final outing.

BEIJING – AUGUST 16: Gold medalist Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 100m Butterfly Final held at the National Aquatics Centre during Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. By winning gold in the Men’s 100m Butterfly Phelps tied Mark Spitz’s record of winning seven gold medals in a single Olympic Games. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Popularly known as “Baltimore Bullet”, the athlete made 5 appearances in the Olympic Games. With a total of 23 gold medals, Phelps dominated in all his outings.

In 2016, the legend announced his retirement just after being crowned as the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals to his name. Although he ended his career as a swimmer, his startling moments in the game continue to impress many to date.

“I had these dreams of being an Olympic swimmer”- Michael Phelps

The most iconic swimmer of all time, Michael Phelps, never took a step back when it came to his career. Despite retiring years ago, his records remained untouched.

Through an interview, the athlete emphasized how being passionate and putting in consistent hard work, helped him earn his lifelong dream.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 11: Gold medalist Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 200m Individual Medley Final on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

“I think it’s important to have a dream because that’s what’s going to drive you. That’s what’s going to help you. It’s going to motivate you to get out of bed every single day,” said the athlete.

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“I had these dreams of being an Olympic swimmer, a world record holder.”

Phelps’ attitude towards his career is indeed inspirational. Being the best of the bests, Phelps left behind his footprints in the history of the Olympic games.

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Richa Goswami

148 articles

Richa Goswami is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an adherent learner, she uses her journalistic persona to navigate through new skills. Richa has completed her schooling at Don Bosco.

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