Now that Michael Phelps is the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympic Games, is it even debatable whether he’s the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time)? Phelps is the greatest Olympian ever. Period. End of Story. His 19 total medals break down like this: 15 Gold (the most ever), 2 Silver, and 2 Bronze. He has a few more races to go in the 2012 London Games too, so that ’19’ is sure to increase.
Longevity in the sport of swimming is not an easy feat and yet Phelps is now in his fourth Olympics and is still bringing home medals. Phelps’ initial Olympics was the 2004 Athens Games, where he won Gold in his first race while also setting the Olympic record in the 400 Individual Medley. His 8 medals in Athens were matched by his 8 (all gold this time) in the 2008 Beijing Games. Already, it’s 3 medals and counting so far in London.
Don’t be that guy that downplays Phelps accomplishments because he’s a swimmer; that somehow swimming is less of an athletic achievement than running or jumping. Phelps’ chosen athletic discipline is swimming and he has mastered his craft better than anyone else before him.
Phelps deserves to be in the discussion for the greatest athlete of all time. His individual and team accomplishments put him in a rare championship air. In my opinion, he definitely belongs in the same group as 11 time basketball champion Bill Russell, boxing legend Muhammad Ali, baseball icon Babe Ruth, and hockey great Wayne Gretzky.
Do you agree or disagree? Does Michael Phelps deserve to be honored in this group?