PROFILE
Name:
Michael Phelps
Birth Date:
June 30, 1985
Birth Place:
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Height:
6' 3" (1.91 m)
Nationality:
American
BIOGRAPHY
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Flying Fish

Background:

“A buddy of mine actually read of me being in the names of Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. That is a pretty big accomplishment and definitely something I'm proud of. They have changed their sports themselves, so hopefully I can do the same in swimming.” Michael Phelps

American Olympic swimming sensation Michael Phelps is best known as the eight gold medal winner at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Nicknamed Flying Fish, he holds the record for the most gold medals won at a single Olympics, which was previously held by swimmer Mark Spitz at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games with seven medals won. Receiving his first spot at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, during which time he became the youngest swimmer to compete for the U.S. in the Olympics in 68 years, Phelps hit the big time in the next Olympics at Athens where he collected six gold and two bronze medals. Phelps also competed in the World Championships and the Pan Pacific Championships, not to mention a number of national championships. He won seven gold medals at the 2007 Melbourne World Championships, five golds and a silver at the 2005 Montreal World Championships, four gold and two silver medals at the 2003 Barcelona World Championships and a gold at the 2001 Fukuoka World Championships. At the Pan Pacific Championships, Phelps won a total of eight gold and three silver medals.

“The support I’ve received from my sponsors has enabled me to raise the bar in swimming.” Michael Phelps

A major force in competitive swimming, Phelps gains $5 million annually in endorsements. After the momentous Olympic Games in Beijing, he earned a $1 million bonus from swimsuit maker Speedo for winning at least seven golds and used the money to establish the Michael Phelps Foundation, a charity foundation to encourage water safety and support swimming for children.

In November 2004, 19-year-old Phelps was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Salisbury, Maryland. After pleading guilty to driving while impaired, he was granted probation before judgment. In addition to being ordered to serve18 month’s probation, he had to pay $250 fine, speak to high school students about drinking and driving and attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) meeting.

During the 2008 Olympics, 6' 3” Phelps was reportedly dating Amanda Beard. However, Beard strongly denied the rumors.


Gomer

Childhood and Family:

Michael Fred Phelps was born on June 30, 1985, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Fred Phelps, a police officer, and Debbie, a middle school principal. His parents divorced when he was nine years old. Michael, who was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a child, was raised with his older sisters, Whitney (born in 1978) and Hilary (born in 1980), in the Rodgers Forge section of Baltimore County. He graduated from Towson High School in 2003 and attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan, the following year. He majored in sports marketing and management.

Influenced by his sisters, Michael began swimming at age 7. He trained at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club at the Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center and met his future coach, Bob Bowman, there.

Michael got the moniker “Gomer” from his teammates because he reminds them of Gomer Pyle, the pleasant naïve country boy played by Jim Nabors on “The Andy Griffith Show.”


Star of Beijing

Career:

Michael Phelps emerged a good athlete at a young age. It was after seeing swimmers Tom Dolan and Tom Malchow at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta that he was determined to become a champion himself.

Spotted by coach Bob Bowman while training at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, 11-year-old Phelps began training intensively with Bowman and by age 14, he had earned a spot on the U.S. National B Team.

After breaking a record in the 200-meter butterfly at the Junior Nationals, Phelps placed third in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2000 Spring Nationals. After finishing second at the Olympic Trials, he made the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, 15-year-old Phelps, who became the youngest American male swimmer to compete in an Olympic Games after nearly seventy years, made the finals and placed fifth in the 200-meter butterfly. He finished the year ranked 7th in the world in the 200-meter butterfly and 44th in the 400-meter individual medley.

Phelps' career continued to flourish. At the Phillips 66 National Championships held in August 2001, he made history by being the youngest male swimmer ever to establish a new world mark after breaking the previous one in the 200-meter butterfly and won a gold medal for the 100-meter butterfly. He then won the 200-meter butterfly at the 2001 Pan Pacific Championships and broke his own record at the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. With a time of 1:54.58, he also won his first international medal.

Phelps showed his dominance at the 2002 Summer Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, where he booked four wins in the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly and the 200-meter and 400-meter individual medley. With the time of 4:11.09 in the 400, he also set a new world record. The superb athlete scored further triumphs at the Pan Pacific Championships at Yokohama. He won gold and silver medals and helped America’s four-man team set a world record in the 400-meter medley.

After graduating high school in 2003, Phelps competed at the U.S. Spring National Championships. He also competed at the U.S. Summer Nationals in College Park, Maryland. With five wins, Phelps became the first male swimmer to win five national titles in a single meet. Phelps also competed at the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

In 2004, Phelps earned five gold medals at the Conoco Phillips National Championships and once again scored a spot on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. During the Olympic trials, he set a world mark in the 400-meter individual medley with the time of 4:08.41.

It was during the 2004 Olympics Games in Athens that Phelps was expected to beat the record made by legendary swimmer Mark Spitz. Phelps, however, only collected six gold medals at the Games but broke his own record in the 400-meter individual medley.

Phelps scored five gold medals at the 2005 World Championships in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. At the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships at Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Phelps broke world records in the 200 meter butterfly, the 200 meter individual medley and the 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay. He also netted gold in the 400 meter individual medley and a silver in the 200 meter backstroke. 2007 saw Phelps shine at the World Championships at Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in which he gathered seven gold medals and broke five world records.

However, Phelps' best moment did not arrive until 2008 when he represented the United States at the Olympic Games at Beijing, China. Qualified to compete in five individual and three team events, he successfully won the gold medal in all eight events. Phelps set world records in the 400 meter individual medley (4:03.84), the 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay (3:08.24), the 200 meter freestyle (1:42.96), the 200 meter butterfly (1:52.03), the 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay (6:58.56), the 200 meter individual medley (1:54.23) and the 4 x 100 meter medley relay (3:29.34) and Olympic records in the 100 meter butterfly (50.58). With eight gold medals, Phelps holds the record for the most gold medals won at a single Olympics, successfully surpassing the 1972 Munich Olympic swimming star Mark Spitz.

“I don't know for sure. I'll definitely go another four years and then see what happens. I would love to swim in New York in 2012 if the games end up there and finish my career in America. It would be really exciting just to have the games here, and then for me to go out on that kind of stage in my own country would just be amazing, but I'm really trying not to get too ahead of myself.” Michael Phelps

Phelps considered returning to his native Baltimore after the 2008 Olympics and bought a house in the Fells Point section of Baltimore.


Awards:

  • Olympic Games

  • Gold Medal, 2008 Beijing, 200 meter freestyle

  • Gold Medal, 2008 Beijing, 100 meter butterfly

  • Gold Medal, 2008 Beijing, 200 meter butterfly

  • Gold Medal, 2008 Beijing, 200 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2008 Beijing, 400 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2008 Beijing, 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay

  • Gold Medal, 2008 Beijing, 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay

  • Gold Medal, 2008 Beijing, 4 x 100 meter medley relay

  • Gold Medal, 2004 Athens, 100 meter butterfly

  • Gold Medal, 2004 Athens, 200 meter butterfly

  • Gold Medal, 2004 Athens, 200 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2004 Athens, 400 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2004 Athens, 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay

  • Gold Medal, 2004 Athens, 4 x 100 meter medley relay

  • Bronze Medal, 2004 Athens, 200 meter freestyle

  • Bronze Medal, 2004 Athens, 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay

  • World Championships - Long Course

  • Gold Medal, 2007 Melbourne, 200 meter freestyle

  • Gold Medal, 2007 Melbourne, 100 meter butterfly

  • Gold Medal, 2007 Melbourne, 200 meter butterfly

  • Gold Medal, 2007 Melbourne, 200 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2007 Melbourne, 400 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2007 Melbourne, 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay

  • Gold Medal, 2007 Melbourne, 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay

  • Gold Medal, 2005 Montreal, 200 meter freestyle

  • Gold Medal, 2005 Montreal, 200 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2005 Montreal, 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay

  • Gold Medal, 2005 Montreal, 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay

  • Gold Medal, 2005 Montreal, 4 x 100 meter medley relay

  • Gold Medal, 2003 Barcelona, 200 meter butterfly

  • Gold Medal, 2003 Barcelona, 200 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2003 Barcelona, 400 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2003 Barcelona, 4 x 100 meter medley relay

  • Gold Medal, 2001 Fukuoka, 200 meter butterfly

  • Silver Medal, 2005 Montreal, 100 meter butterfly

  • Silver Medal, 2003 Barcelona, 100 meter butterfly

  • Silver Medal, 2003 Barcelona, 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay

  • World Championships - Short Course

  • Gold Medal, 2004 Indianapolis, 200 meter freestyle

  • Pan Pacific Championships

  • Gold Medal, 2006 Victoria, 200 meter butterfly

  • Gold Medal, 2006 Victoria, 200 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2006 Victoria, 400 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2006 Victoria, 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay

  • Gold Medal, 2006 Victoria, 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay

  • Silver Medal, 2006 Victoria, 200 meter backstroke

  • Gold Medal, 2002 Yokohama, 200 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2002 Yokohama, 400 meter individual medley

  • Gold Medal, 2002 Yokohama, 4 x 100 meter medley relay

  • Silver Medal, 2002 Yokohama, 200 meter butterfly

  • Silver Medal, 2002 Yokohama, 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay

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