Interesting Facts About Michael Phelps

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

  • Michael Fred Phelps (born June 30, 1985) is an American swimmer and 14-time Olympic gold medalist (the most by any Olympian), who currently holds seven world records in swimming.

  • Michael Phelps holds the record for the most gold medals won at a single Olympics; a total of eight, surpassing Mark Spitz

  • Michael Phelps comes from a broken home in Baltimore. His policeman father Fred and school teacher mother Debbie separated when he was only seven. Elder sister Whitney, also a swimmer, has written that she used the swimming pool as a refuge from the yelling.

  • When he was 10, Phelps attended the 1996 Olympic Trials to support sister Whitney. She finished sixth in the 200m butterfly final and failed to make the team. The family cried in the stands. Whitney's career was cut short by four herniated discs.

  • In November 2004, at the age of 19, Michael Phelps was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Salisbury, Maryland. He pleaded guilty to driving while impaired the following month and was granted probation before judgment and ordered to serve 18 months probation, fined $250, obligated to speak to high school students about drinking and driving and had to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) meeting.

  • Michael Phelps started swimming at the age of five. As a kid, Michael was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). At the age seven, he started swimming partly because he could release all that extra energy in the pool. At first, Michael was scared to even put his face in the water but before long he was swimming competitively. When he was 11,Michael Phelps met his long-time swimming coach, Bob Bowman, who knew right away that Phelps had what it took to be an exceptional athlete.

  • Michael Phelps made history by qualifying for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, when he was just 15-years-old. By qualifying for the 2000 Olympics, Michael Phelps became the youngest member of the US Olympic team since 1932. Phelps finished fifth in the 200 meter butterfly and shattered the 15-16 National Age Group record. Five months after the Olympics,Phelps became the youngest world record holder in history by setting a new record in the 200 meter butterfly at the World Championships in Japan.

  • When Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe said he did not think anyone could win eight races at a single Olympics, Phelps memorized the quote to motivate him for Beijing. He hung a poster of Ian Crocker above his bed after his team mate beat him at the 2003 world championships, to help motivate him for Athens.

  • Overall, Phelps has won 16 Olympic medals: six gold and two bronze at Athens in 2004, and eight gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In winning these medals, he has twice equaled Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin's record of eight medals (of any type) at a single Olympics (Dityatin: Moscow 1980; Phelps: Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008). Out of his eight gold medals from Beijing, five were won in individual events, tying the record for individual gold medals at a single Games originally set by Eric Heiden in the 1980 Winter Olympics and equaled by Vitaly Scherbo at the 1992 Summer Games. Phelps ranks second in total career Olympic medals, after Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina, who won a total of 18 medals (nine gold) spanning three Olympic Games.

  • Michael Phelps received the 2004 Sullivan Award.

  • Michael Phelps is the proud holder of 27 U.S. National Titles.

  • Michael Phelps is the first male swimmer to break two world record in separate events in the same day.

  • Michael Phelps is 6'4" tall and weighs 200 pounds.

  • Michael Phelps' nicknames are "MP" and "Gomer".

  • Michael Phelps needs to wolf down a lot of calories to have the energy for all his swimming. For breakfast, he often eats two egg-and-cheese sandwiches, a bowl of grits, a large omelet and a tall stack of chocolate chip pancakes.

  • Michael Phelps comes from a family of swimmers. His sister, Hilary, swam for the University of Richmond and his sister, Whitney, swam at the 1996 Olympic Swimming Trials.

  • Michael Phelps is sponsored by Visa, Speedo, PowerBar, At&T Wireless, Omega and Kellogg's.

  • Micahel Phelps listens to hip hop and rap to help him get focused before a race, downloading tracks on his MP3 player. Among his favourites is American rapper Young Jeezy.

  • Michael Phelps attends the University of Michigan, studying sports marketing and management.

  • Phelps' international titles, along with his various world records, have resulted in him being awarded the World Swimmer of the Year Award in 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007 and American Swimmer of the Year Award in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007. Phelps has won a total of 48 career medals thus far: 40 gold, six silvers and two bronze. This includes all of theChampionships in which he has competed: The Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships.