Michael Phelps has unleashed the golden showers dam at the 2012 London Olympic Games as today he earned his 17th gold medal for a total of 21 career medals. The 276-year old swimming phenom went out in style for his final individual race.
Ryan Lochte might have gotten all the Day 1 attention at the 2012 London Olympic Games for the US Swim Team, but Michael Phelps is leaving with all the glory plus a 17th gold medal which takes him to a record breaking 21 total medals. It’s been decades since that was broken by the swimmer, and it could be many more before anyone comes close to doing it again. Check out our Photo spread on Phelps and the US Swim Teams 2012 Olympics journey.
It was Phelps final individual race of his career, and he went out with a memorable bang that will be remembered for years to come. With those long arms whirling through the water, Phelps was next-to-last when he touched the wall at the far end of the pool in the 100-meter butterfly but in a familiar position when he made the touch that counted Friday — his name atop the leaderboard, a smile on his face, another gold medal around his neck.
The Baltimore swimmer was seventh at halfway, with Milorad Cavic first, before the USA swimmer produced a customary storming final length to touch in 51.21.
Chad le Clos, who had relegated Phelps to second in the 200m Butterfly earlier this week, was second, with Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin third. It’s the third consecutive Games in which the American sensation won the event dating back to Athens in 2004. And he had to beat a talented field, including Milorad Cavic, Chad le Clos and fellow Team USA member Tyler McGill, to do it.
“I’m just happy that the last one was a win,” Phelps said. “That’s all I really wanted coming into the night.” Many may wonder why he won’t compete in 2016 Olympics, but after dedicating his entire life to swimming, he’s ready to swim on to other shores…like fully enjoying his life. He made the Olympics the special thing that they can often be, the promise of greatness no matter where you grow up. If a kid from the Delmarva peninsula can do it, so can any other kid in America!