Michael Phelps, Greatest Olympian Ever? Or Just Short?

Emily ThompsonCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2008

The world is talking about Michael Phelps' 8 gold medal run, and that he would be the greatest Olympian ever. I'm here to say he would not be. If Phelps medals the rest of his events he will have a total of 16 medals. This will not be the best.

Larissa Latynina of the former Soviet Union is the best.

At the 1956 Summer Olympics, Latynina beat Agnes Keleti of Hungary in the All-Around competition.

In the event finals Latynina won gold on the floor and vault, won silver on uneven bars, and bronze in the now discontinued event, portable apparatus.  

In the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Latynina led the Soviet Union to victory by a margin of nine points.

She won gold in floor, silver in balance beam and uneven bars, and bronze in vault.

Latynina led the Soviet Union to yet another team title in the 1964 Summer Olympics.

She also claimed gold in floor, another silver, and two more bronze medals.

This bringing her final tally to 18 medals; nine gold, five silver, and four bronze.

Latynina won a medal in every event which she competed.

Now after the 2008 Beijing Olympics Michael Phelps will NOT beat this talented women, but I fully expect him to take this title at the 2012 London Olympics.