Michael Phelps and three of his teammates raced to another gold medal in the Men’s 4×100 meter Medley Relay at the 2012 London Olympics on August 4, 2012. The gold medal capped a career in which Phelps will know be known as the Most Decorated Olympian of all Time. Over three Olympics, Phelps has a total of 22 medals including 18 gold medals. In an interview with NBC Olympic reporter, Bob Costas, Michael Phelps said, “I’ve done everything I’ve ever put my mind to.” He told Costas he has always looked up to Michael Jordan during his career. In his interview with Costas, Phelps looked very much at ease as he talked about his amazing success in three Olympics.
In the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Michael Phelps was only fifteen years old and the youngest male athlete to make the team in 68 years. Speaking of his first Olympic experience, Phelps said, (it was) “…pretty overwhelming to me.” He did not win any medals that year, but it did prove to be an excellent training ground for the young swimmer.
In 2004, the Summer Olympics were held in Athens, Greece where Phelps won six gold medals and two bronze for a total of eight medals. Speaking of his first race, he told Bob Costas, “I was so nervous.” Phelps won the gold medal in that race and set a world record as well. In the 2004 Athens games, Phelps won a Gold medal in the 4x200m Freestyle, 4x100m Medley Relay, 200m Butterfly, 400m Individual Medley, 100m Butterfly and 200m Individual Medley. He also won a Bronze Medal in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay and 200m Freestyle.
Four years later in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Michael Phelps won a total of eight medals, all of which were Gold. In the Men’s 100m Butterfly, he won the race by 1/100th of a second. In these Olympic Games, he won the Gold medal in the 100m Butterfly, 400m Individual Medley, 200m Freestyle, 200m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley, 4 x 100m Medley Relay, 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay and 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay. He told Bob Costas that after Beijing, “…deep down I knew I wasn’t done.”
However, for two years, Phelps would do whatever he wanted. He did not train as well as he probably should have. He said, “I wasn’t getting the job done.” Six months before the 2011 World Championships, he began working out harder. Ryan Lochte, a friend and fellow Olympic swimmer, was beating Phelps in many races.
In the 2012 London Olympics, Lochte won the Gold Medal in the 200m Butterfly with Phelps coming in second for the Silver Medal. In later races, Phelps stepped up his game by taking the Gold Medal in the 4 x 100m Medley Relay, 100m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley and 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay. He also won the Silver Medal in the 200m Butterfly and 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay.
Speaking of his imminent retirement, Michael Phelps said he wants to help kids “…to go after their dream.” He further stated, “I’m looking forward to…travel the world. I want to do more. I want to see the actual city.” Holding up his 22nd Medal, Michael Phelps said, “This is it. This is the last medal. I will not swim for anymore gold medals in my career.” We will have to wait for 2016 in Rio de Janeiro to see if this statement will prove to be true.