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Michael Phelps, most decorated Olympian in history, turns 35


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Michael Phelps celebrates his 35th birthday on Tuesday.

By almost any measure, the Maryland native is the greatest Olympian in history, piling up a Summer Games medal count that is truly unbelievable when you list it all out: 23 gold medals, three silver and two bronze. 

His 28 total medals at the Summer Olympics are 10 clear of the next closest individual, former Soviet Union gymnast Larisa Latynina. His 23 golds are 14 more than the nine collected by Latynina, Paavo Nurmi and fellow American Olympic legends Carl Lewis and Mark Spitz. 

Phelps appeared in five Olympics, making his Summer Games’ debut in 2000 in Sydney when he was just 15 years old. By 2004, he was a major player on the Olympic stage, taking home six gold medals in Athens as well as two bronze. 

But it’s his 2008 Games that cemented him as an all-time legend. In those Beijing Games, he broke Spitz’s decades-old record by bringing home eight gold medals (thanks, Jason Lezak!). 

He took home four more gold medals and two silver at the 2012 London Games before announcing his retirement. Phelps would return to swimming, however, though a 2014 arrest for DUI resulted in a six-month suspension by USA Swimming. (Phelps was previously suspended for a photo of him with a bong that had emerged in 2009.)

Phelps said ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro that he had “sent myself down a downward spiral,” in the lead-up to his arrest, subsequently checking into rehab for 45 days. He also said that unlike the 2012 Olympics, his desire to train had returned. 

In those 2016 Games, a then-31-year-old Phelps captured six more medals — five of them gold — before calling it a career for good.

These days, Phelps – now married with three children – keeps a relatively low profile, mostly posting about his family life to his 3.3 million Instagram followers. But his exploits in the pool will live forever. 

Will we ever see an American athlete hit such gaudy medal totals again? Time will only tell. 

Sports video of the day

Tuesday is also Mike Tyson’s 54th birthday. To mark the occasion, check out this compilation of some of the former (and maybe future?) heavyweight’s best knockouts, which made “Iron Mike” one of the most feared boxers of all time:

Story time

What to watch

MLB (classic): The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the New York Mets, 3-1, in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, 11 a.m. ET on MLB Network.

Soccer (live): Brighton & Hove Albion aims to keep itself out of Premier League relegation zone when it hosts Manchester United, 3:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

NBA (classic):“Run TMC” combines for 71 points in the Golden State Warriors’ 109-106 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs on May 1, 1991, 6 p.m. on NBATV.

NFL (classic):2008 AFC Championship Game, in which the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Baltimore Ravens en route to victory in Super Bowl XLIII, 7 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.

NHL (classic): The Washington Capitals clinch their first Stanley Cup triumph with a 4-3 Game 5 win over the upstart Vegas Golden Knights, 7:30 p.m. ET on NHL Network.

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Adrian Woody
Adrian Woody Author
Contributor At Industry News Blog

Having the apt skills to play with words to put forth various updates and news relating to the field of technology in an interesting way has made Adrian is a contributor in our organization. He is dedicated to writing articles related to all the up-to-the-minute inventions, launches, updates, and much more happening in the world of technology. In his free time, Adrian offers a guest lecture to kids about the latest inventions.

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