In the 200-meter butterfly, he took silver to tie the record of 18 medals set by Soviet Union gymnast Larisa Latynina. Then, Phelps made history—as he always does—as the United States won gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay.
The No. 19 is a magical number in the world of sports.
Phelps needed 19 medals to become the greatest Olympian of all time. A perfect season in the NFL is 19-0, including the playoffs, and 19 major golf championships would surpass Jack Nicklaus's leading total of 18.
But no NFL team has gone 19-0, and Nicklaus still remains No. 1 in golf.
Michael Phelps is the real thing. After so many years of anticipation, he is the most decorated Olympian in the history of the Games.
Now, let us recount the highlights of his journey to the pinnacle.
All-time Olympic medal records fact sheet courtesy of the International Olympic Committee.
Full view of Michael Phelps records courtesy of USA Swimming.
Full view of swimming world records courtesy of FINA official website.