Michael Phelps has become the most decorated Olympian, ever, after today’s two medal events.
Phelps, entering this Olympics was already the only Olympian in history with double digit gold Medals. He has added another claim to fame with 2 medal events today. He added a silver medal, to bring his medal total to 18, which tied him with the most all-time with Soviet Union’s Larisa Latynina. Latynina was a world class gymnast who had 9 gold medals among her stash!
His silver could have easily been a golden moment, but Phelps opted to glide to the finish rather than making one final stroke. He finished second to South Africa’s Chad Le Clos by .05.
His second medal event today was the 4×200 Freestyle. In the Heat round the USA team was 3 seconds faster than anyone else with Charlie Houchin, Matt Mclean, Davis Tarwater, and Conor Dwyer in the pool. The Finals team consisted of Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Ricky Berens, and Phelps. As in the 4 x100, the Americans toughest competition was the French. This time around, there would be no doubt as Lochte started strong building a 1 second lead on the first leg. Dwyer and Berens followed suit giving Phelps over 3 seconds to play with! He finished off the French and brought home his 15th gold medal and also top Latynina with his 19th Olympic medal.
Phelps has 3 more chances at medal events to push his total even higher. Even though Phelps has received so much credit, he owes many of his medals to what has been a very dominant era for American swimming. 8 of his medals have come during team events, including 6 gold medals. Yet, he definitely was not a hanger on and his years in the pool have paid off. At the close of his Olympic career, it will be hard for anyone to say he is not the Greatest Olympian, ever!