How Legendary Michael Phelps' Biological Advantage Nearly Put His Life In Danger

Michael Phelps holds the record for the most gold medals won at a single Olympics, a total of eight, and is arguably the best Olympic athlete ever. But, do we know about the syndrome he had?

What Michael Phelps said on it

"My heart rate was accelerating and Bob suggested I see the doctor. Because I was very flexible and had long hands and feet. I had some early symptoms of Marfan Syndrome, a disease that affects connective tissues and can be fatal if there is leakage to the vessels that lead to the heart."

Michael Phelps added


"If you reach out your arms and form a T and your wingspan is longer than your height, you can be at risk. In my case, those measurements have always been very close. I didn't know at the time why the doctor decided to look into this. My mom and Bob didn't want me to freak out, so they told me it was simply a good idea for young athletes to have an EKG test in order to look at the heart."

Michael Phelps concluded

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"Fortunately everything was, and still is, okay. I have been tested once a year ever since at John's Hopkins under the direction of Dr. Peter Roe and the tissues are strong, the aortic rout is clear and my heart is in good shape - as long as my Baltimore Ravens are winning."

Does Michael Phelps really have Marfan syndrome

Marfan syndrome according to his doctors. If he were to have Marfan syndrome however, strenuous exercise would be generally contraindicated according to the American Heart Association.

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