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Michael Phelps

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Biography

Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American swimmer and World Record Holder in several events. Phelps' achievements include a record of eight medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, six of which were gold, tying the Olympic record for medals at single Olympics, held by Alexander Dityatin since 1980. His international titles, along with his various world records, have resulted in him being named World Swimmer of the Year three times in 2003, 2004, and 2006.

Phelps' dominance has brought comparisons to former swimming great Mark Spitz, who won seven gold medals in the 1972 Summer Olympics, a world record. Phelps tied Mark Spitz's record of 4 individual gold medals by winning four himself. Phelps had the chance to break Spitz's record of 7 total gold medals in the 2004 Athens Olympics by competing in eight swimming events (5 of which were individual events): the 200 m freestyle, the 100 m butterfly, the 200 m butterfly, the 200 m individual medley, the 400 m individual medley, the 4x100 m freestyle relay, 4x200 m freestyle relay, and the 4x100 m medley relay. However, his 4x100 m freestyle relay team only won the bronze medal, and he personally placed for bronze in the 200 m freestyle. Thus, he fell short of that record. However, he did win eight medals in one Olympics, a feat only achieved by Alexander Dityatin, a gymnast, in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

On August 20, in the 100 m butterfly final, Phelps defeated American teammate Ian Crocker (who holds the world record in the event) by just 0.04 seconds. Traditionally, the Olympian who places highest in an individual event will be automatically given the corresponding leg of the 4x100 m medley relay. This gave Phelps an automatic entry into the medley relay but he deferred and Crocker swam instead. The American medley team went on to win the event in world record time, and, since he had raced in a preliminary heat of the medley relay, Phelps was also awarded a gold medal along with the team members that competed in the final.

Michael has two older sisters, Whitney and Hilary. Both excelled at swimming. Whitney was a promising swimmer but phased her swimming skills into a recreational, rather than competitive, field due to a debilitating back injury.

Phelps grew up in the Rodgers Forge neighborhood of Baltimore and graduated from Towson High School in the summer of 2003.

On November 4, 2004, Phelps was arrested for driving under the influence after being pulled over for running a stop sign at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland, having a specific blood alcohol content of 0.08. Phelps pled guilty to driving while impaired, avoiding charges of driving under the influence, underage drinking, and failure to stop at a stop sign. Phelps was sentenced to 18 months of probation, fined $250, required to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) meeting, and required to give speeches to students at three area high schools by June 1, 2005.

LC: long course - 50 m pool; SC: short course - 25 m pool.1 with Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen and Jason Lezak² with Ryan Lochte, Klete Keller and Peter Vanderkaay³ with Neil Walker, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak



 


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