When Mark Andrew Spitz won seven gold medals in swimming and setting word records in each seven events at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympic Games no one ever envisioned it could be equated nor outshone by any Olympian. For nearly four decades, his incredible achievement stood as a benchmark. It was a humongous task for any athlete to break this iconic attainment in the field of sports. On August 17, 2008, Michael Fred Phelps outstripped Spitz's legacy and went for the historic eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympiad. His victories set an Olympic record and seven world records. Phelps also became the first person to win ten gold medals exceeding nine-gold-medal of Olympians Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi, Ukrainian gymnast Larysa Latynina, US swimmer Mark Spitz and sprinter Carl Lewis. Phelps 16 medals ranks second in total career Olympic medals, after Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina, who won a total of 18 medals (nine gold) spanning three Olympic Games.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Phelps in his youth was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention- Deficit hyperactivity Disorder) He started swimming at an early age of seven. By the age of 10, his superiority in swimming climaxed his many feats in the sport. At the age of 15, Phelps contended at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, becoming the youngest American male swimmer at an Olympic Games in 68 years. He won six gold medals and two bronze in Athens Olympics. After the Beijing Olympics Phelps momentous feat will go down memory lane forever and what makes him the greatest Olympian of all time? Phelps - known as the Baltimore Bullet worked out hard at an early age and maintained his unbending focus in the pool to realize his dream. He was inspired what Mark Spitz has done 36 years ago. Phelps said "Dream as big as you can dream, and anything is possible". In Beijing, Phelps finally harvested the fruits of his adversities and hopes and concluded his enthronement not only to become the best swimmer and Olympian of all time, but the greatest athlete of all time.
"Practice means to perform over and over again in the face of all obstacle, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. It is a means of inviting the perfection desired. Dreams come true if you survive the hardest time"