No matter how Michael Phelps performs at the 2012 Summer Olympics, the man has enjoyed an illustrious career that cannot be defined in words.
The upcoming London Games, however, provide him with an opportunity to become the most decorated Olympic athlete ever. Based on Phelps' current stature compared to other elite Olympians though, a disappointing showing at these Summer Games won't put a damper on everything he's accomplished.
Still, don't expect Phelps to just go through the motions in London either. With a chance at history once again, it's a safe bet that Phelps performs emphatically well.
Now, let's take a look at why his place among the greatest athletes ever is already solidified.
All-time medalists courtesy of Olympic.org.