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At a towering 6'4", Michael Phelps appears to be physically made to be a swimmer. However, despite his 80-inch wingspan (which extends two inches past that of his height) and his size 14 feet, it’s his drive and determination that make Phelps such a sight to behold when he’s in the water.
With the way he seems to effortlessly cut through the water length after length, it’s no wonder Phelps is currently the record holder for most Olympic medals held by any male athlete.
Phelps, who turns 27 at the end of the month, has 16 Olympic medals—14 gold medals and two bronze.
He has also set numerous records, including breaking Mark Spitz’ record of seven gold medals won in a single Olympic game. In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Phelps shattered this record, winning eight gold medals.
The Baltimore native is no stranger to setting records, having set his first record at the age of 15 in the pool at the University of Texas in Austin, when he swam the 200 fly in 1:34:92.
Just this past week, Phelps set another record in the same pool during the Austin Elite, when he placed first in the 100 fly with an amazing time of 52.02 seconds.
Will Phelps be able to break the ultimate record of winning a total of 18 Olympic medals—a record still held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina—when he gets to London?