Is there anything that star swimmer Michael Phelps cannot do? I do not think so and this week, Sports Illustrated has taken notice of all his accomplishments. Phelps is the most decorated Olympian that has ever been a part of the games. He has won a total of 28 medals and 23 of those have been gold. That is the most gold medals of all time by any Olympian that has ever participated in the games. Sports Illustrated has given him the award of the "Greatest Olympian of All Time." Phelps has recently retired, but no Olympic fans will ever forget his sheer dominance over the past Olympic Games.
Lebron James won Sportsperson of the year for 2016, but Phelps beat him out for the top Olympian. Even though the two play completely different sports, they have seemed to battle each other for years. In his speech, Phelps called the award a “tremendous honor,” and described James as “truly an inspiration.” Phelps came under scrutiny a few years ago for using marijuana, but since then he has been unstoppable in the swimming pool. Phelps spoke about the beginning of his Olympic career and the last few years that have pushed him to retirement. He was picked to carry the Olympic torch for the USA in Rio and it was a huge honor for him.
In the past few years, Phelps has become a husband and a father. That is what he wants to focus on now, being the best family man he can, and being there for his family no matter what. “Being able to look at this and look back at my career, it almost doesn’t even seem possible,” Phelps said. “But like these guys [Dolan, Raisman and Joyner-Kersee] said, it was all done off hard work and dedication. I remember as a kid dreaming that I wanted to win one Olympic medal." Now he is the overall leader for gold medals in the world and it will most likely be a very long time before anyone beats his record.
Even when NBA star Lebron James took the stage, he was speaking about Phelps and his accomplishments. “We talk about you at the crib so much, man,” James said to Phelps from the stage. “You’re literally a fish. Literally. I have no idea how you do what you do.” Anytime another super star in a big time sport is speaking about you in this manner, it is safe to say that you have made it. Phelps will never be forgotten and even though he says he is retired, he has said that before. So until the world does not see him in the pool at the next Olympic Games, anything is possible for this amazing sports star.