Some photos of him!
Michael Fred Phelps (born June 30, 1985) is an American swimmer. He has won 14 career Olympic gold medals, the most by any Olympian. As of August 2008, he also holds seven world records in swimming.
Phelps holds the record for the most gold medals won at a single Olympics with the eight golds he won at the 2008 Olympic Games. With this record, he surpassed Mark Spitz, who was also a swimmer and had held the previous gold medal total with the seven that he won at the 1972 Olympic Games.
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 garnered eight at the 1980 Summer Olympics, while Phelps won eight medals at both the 2004 Summer Olympics and the 2008 Summer Olympics. 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.
Phelps's 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 the Championships in which he has competed: The Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships.
Phelps was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in the Rodgers Forge neighborhood. He graduated from Towson High School in 2003. His father, Fred Phelps, worked for the Maryland State Police and his mother, Debbie Davisson Phelps, is a middle school principal.The two divorced in 1994. Michael, whose nickname is "MP", has two older sisters, Whitney and Hilary. Both of them were swimmers as well, with Whitney coming close to making the U.S. national team for the 1996 Summer Olympics before injuries derailed her career.
In his youth, Phelps was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). He started swimming at age seven, partly because of the influence of his sisters and partly to provide him with an outlet for his energy. He excelled as a swimmer, and by the age of 10 held a national record for his age group. More age group records followed, and Phelps's rapid improvement culminated in his qualifying for the 2000 Summer Olympics at the age of 15.
In November 2004, at the age of 19, 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. Questioned about the incident later that month by Matt Lauer on the Today Show, Phelps said it was an "isolated incident" and that he had "definitely let myself down and my family down...I think I let a lot of people in the country down."
Between 2004 and 2008, Phelps attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, studying sports marketing and management. In May 2008, Phelps said he intends to return to Baltimore following the 2008 Olympics, joining Bob Bowman there when he leaves the University of Michigan, saying, "I'm not going to swim for anybody else. I think we can both help the North Baltimore Aquatic Club go further. I'm definitely going to be in Baltimore next year." The club has announced that Bowman is leaving the University of Michigan to become the club's CEO.Phelps purchased a house in the Fells Point section of Baltimore, where he intends to reside after returning from the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Phelp's teammates call him "Gomer" because he reminds them of Gomer Pyle, the good-natured, naive country boy played by Jim Nabors on The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C..
He has made an estimated $5 million per year in endorsements, plus a $1 million bonus from swimsuit maker Speedo for winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Physique and lifestyle
Five physical attributes particularly suit Phelps to swimming: his long, thin torso (low drag in the water), arms which span 6 feet 7 inches (201 cm) (long, powerful, propulsive "paddles") disproportionate to his height of 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm), relatively short legs (lower drag, and perhaps the speed enhancement of a hydrofoil), coupled to size 14 feet (providing the effect of flippers) by hypermobile ankles he can extend beyond the pointe of a ballet dancer, enabling him to whip his feet (as if they were fins, for maximum thrust through [if not over] the water).
In a front page illustrated article profiling Phelps on the eve of the 2008 Summer Olympics, The Baltimore Sun described the hometown swimmer as "a solitary man" with a "rigid focus" at the pool prior to a race, but afterwards "a man incredibly invested in the success of the people he cares about".Bowman told a Sun interviewer, "He's unbelievably kind-hearted", recounting Phelps's interaction with young children after practices.
According to an article in The Guardian, Phelps eats around 12,000 kcal each day, or about six times the intake of a normal adult male.
Throughout the 2008 Olympics, Phelps was questioned by the press if perhaps his feats were "too good to be true", a reference to unsupported rumors that Phelps may be taking performance enhancing drugs. In response, Phelps noted that he had signed up for Project Believe, a project by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in which U.S. Olympians can volunteer to be tested in excess of the World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines. During the Games, Phelps was tested nine times, and passed all of them.