Welp, he did it! After he set the record at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games by becoming the Olympic Athlete to win the most Gold Medals, US Swimmer Michael Phelps set a new Olympic record at the London 2012 Olympic Games last night. Phelps won his 19th medal when the US mens’ team won the Gold Medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay (earlier in the day, Phelps won his 18th medal by taking the Silver Medal in the 200-metre butterfly race) and became the Most Decorated Olympic Athlete of All Time! AND … he’s not finished yet! Phelps has more chances to win more medals as the swimming events continue today. Click below to see Phelpsie posing happily with his 19th medal last night.
After a stunning loss in his signature event — the men’s 200-metre butterfly — Phelps swam the final leg of the 4x200m freestyle to help America win Olympic gold on Tuesday in London. The victory gave Phelps a career total of 19 medals, topping the long-standing Olympic record set by Russia’s legendary gymnast Larisa Latynina. “He’s the greatest Olympian ever, absolutely,” said CBC Sports swimming expert Byron MacDonald. “Olympians are judged on their results and he’s the best.” Predictably, the three-time defending Olympic champions dominated the race from start to finish, winning in a time of six minutes, 59.70 seconds. Even France’s brilliant freestyler and anchor Yannick Agnel couldn’t make up the insurmountable deficit. Instead the French team earned a respectable silver medal with a time of 7:02.77. China, proving to be a swimming force at these Games, placed third in 7:06.30. Phelps needed to get over his stunning loss in the butterfly race to South African Chad le Clos an hour earlier in quick order. Luckily for him, the relay is an event the Americans haven’t lost in 12 years. Ryan Lochte opened his leg with a strong push, building almost a second lead on Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes. As the race progressed, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens increased the Americans’ advantage to four seconds. All Phelps had to do was bring the gold home as he showed no lingering effects from his earlier loss. “I thanked those guys for helping me get to this moment,” Phelps said. “I told those guys I wanted a big lead. I was like, ‘You better give me a big lead going into the last lap,’ and they gave it to me. I just wanted to hold on. I thanked them for being able to allow me to have this moment.”
Phelps DOMINATED the swimming events — all of them — at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games but this time, notsomuch. Even still, he has proven that his hard work, skill and determination continues to pay off. After a slow start at this Olympic Summer Games (he lost his first chance at a medal during his first event — it was the first time Phelps failed to medal in an Olympic event since 2000) it would seem that Phelpsie got his groove back. Let’s send our warmest congrats to our Olympic Champ today … and wish him all the best as he continues to go for Olympic glory at the London 2012 Olympice Games.