Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985) is a retired American swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (18, double the second highest record holders), Olympic gold medals in individual events (11), and Olympic medals in individual events for a male (13).
In this Aug. 11, 2008 file photo, Michael Phelps celebrates the gold medal victory in the men's 4x100-metre final at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Phelps retires with twice as many golds as any other Olympian, and his total of 22 medals is easily the best mark. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson, File)
At the 1904 Summer Olympics, American gymnast George Eyser won six medals: 3 gold; two silver, and one bronze. What makes Eyser even more unique is that he competed with a wooden leg. During his youth, Eyser lost most of his left leg after a train ran over it. This didn’t stop him from making history a few years later, becoming the only person to compete in the Olympic Games with an artificial leg, until 2008 when South African swimmer, Natalie du Toit, competed in the Beijing Olympics.
Happy Magic Water, Cube Water Park, Beijing, China. The Beijing National Aquatics Center, colloquially known as the Water Cube, is an aquatics center that was built alongside Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Swimmers at the Water Cube broke 25 world records during the 2008 Olympics.
Mark Spitz won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics, an achievement only surpassed by Michael Phelps who won eight golds at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Spitz set new world records in all seven events in which he competed, a record that still stands. Since the year 1900, no other swimmer has ever gained so great a percentage of all the medals awarded for Olympic events held in a single Games.
Phelps had a spectacular performance in 2008 at the Olympic Games in Beijing when he picked up a record eight gold medals, breaking the 1972 record of American swimmer Mark Spitz. Phelps also has won more individual Olympic gold medals than any other athlete — a number he is expected to add to at the 2012 games in London. God bless, & best wishes in all events to 2012 olympic athletes.