This Olympics, I had eyes only for one man. You can distinguish him from quite a distance. Standing tall at 1.93metres, his looming frame is further enhanced by the broadest shoulders I have seen in recent times as well as by his long arms. The six packs are in place too and with his ready, toothy smile, he would have been a favourite with most girls even if he wasn’t a great performer in his chosen field. But the fact that he has in his kitty the maximum number of gold medals ever won by an individual performer in the history of the Games takes the focus from his looks and puts him in a league of his own. With 18 gold medals to his credit, this is not just a good swimmer with a great bod – Michael Phelps is a phenomenon!
If anybody truly deserves the ‘Golden Guy’ moniker, it is Phelps, without a shred of doubt! He is the most celebrated and the most decorated Olympic athlete that ever lived and his 22 medals (total) are a testimony to that. When Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, breaking Mark Spitz’s record of 7 golds in the Munich Olympics of 1972, he had already made his place among the greatest athletes of all times. But by amassing a tally of 18 gold medals in his decade long Olympics career, he has proved that he was indeed born to swim.
The London Olympics 2012 were the last Olympic Games that ever saw this phenomenon swim. On Saturday, Michael Phelps went into the 4×100 medley relay, the final Olympic event of his career, with 17 gold medals, already way ahead of his nearest competition. But when he exited the pool, he came out with 18. An Olympic gold medal at the final race of one’s career – what a way to leave. Truly inspiring stuff, befitting a true champion. Goodbye Michael Phelps, farewell!