With the Olympics dying down, let's talk about the biggest name in American sports right now: Michael Phelps. He has truly solidified himself as the best swimmer ever, and the best individual Olympian ever, also. 23 gold medals is outstanding and we will probably won't see someone do something like that for the rest of our lives (maybe Simone?). But now, we have to bring it up. Could Michael Phelps be one of the greatest athletes ever? In my opinion, he is up there. Here's why.
When we look at the greatness of an athlete, what do we look at with the most importance? Trophies, titles, MVP's… so what about Olympic gold medals? Does should definitely count. With that, Michael thrives way ahead of anyone else. He had the most Olympic medals back in 2012… I repeat, 2012. That stat should stand out when you look at his greatness. Keep in mind, the Olympics only happen every 4 years. He ended his career with 23 gold medals in a total of 29 appearances. That means in the 29 finals that he swam in, he won gold 79 percent of the time, and he medaled every time except for one. He also holds or is a part of 39 world records, more than any other swimmer ever. He has also won a grand total of 83 medals across his professional career from the Olympics, the World, and Pan Pacific Championships (66 gold, 14 silver, three bronze). I could go on and on about the greatness of Phelps, but lets compare him to the best of the best.
Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Tom Brady, LeBron James, Pete Rose, the list goes on and on. We have seen so many great athletes that it is almost impossible to make a list of the best athletes ever. But I feel like with the accomplishments that Phelp's has had, he has to be amongst the best of the best. The most decorated Olympian ever, 83 overall victories and 39 world records is nothing to keep quiet about. This man deserves all the praise that he gets. Let us all remember this man as the greatest swimmer ever, but also amongst the best athletes to ever live.