By Paul Jones
With the Rio Olympics being the last summer games for many great athletes like Usain Bolt and Carmelo Anthony, the most decorated Olympian ever said his final goodbye. Michael Phelps competed in his last Olympic games and he exited in gold money fashion.
The U.S. dominated in the pool just like they did throughout the games. Phelps contributed to the cause by adding five golds and a silver to the medal count.
The Maryland native now has 28 total medals, which is 13 more than the next closest man (Nikolai Andrianov). Phelps also broke an ancient record that was held by Leonidas of Rhodes, by earning his 13th individual gold medal.
Phelps broke many records in his time in Rio, most of them being set more recently than 2000 years. He became the first American swimmer ever to win an individual event, four consecutive times.
This type of dominance has never been seen in a swimming event. Only track athletes Carl Lewis and Al Oerter have displayed this type of longevity in a single event. Lewis did it in the long jump and Oerter completed his four-peat in discus.
With Phelps now being the person with the most Olympic medals ever, the question has been raised of whether he is the greatest Olympian ever. The main opponent of Phelps would most likely be Usain Bolt. Bolt’s dominance on the track is very similar to Phelps’s.
The two athletes have a multitude of records between them, as they have set many marks for the rest of the world to try and catch.
Either way, Phelps is extremely high up on the all-time list no matter what criteria is used. His triumphs in swimming will always be remembered. His exploits have been legendary, and legends never die.
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