Phelps Becomes World’s Greatest Olympian
August 1, 2012
The Fresh Outlook
Just after 21:00 yesterday, Michael Phelps won his 19th Olympic medal to finally surpass former USSR record holder Larisa Latynina.
The Aquatics Centre played host to an electric atmosphere when at 21:04pm on Tuesday, Michael Phelps, aka ‘The Baltimore Bullet’, won his 15th gold and 19th Olympic medal, which saw him leapfrog former Soviet Union athlete Larisa Latynina.
For anyone else, his start to the London 2012 Games would have been success in itself; with a fourth place in the 400m individual medley and a silver medal in 4 x 100m relay after a shock French win defied the odds. For Phelps, however, this wasn’t good enough and he showed his resilience by swimming the home leg to win gold in the 4 x 400m freestyle relay for the United States squad, which also features Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens. Phelps proved once again that he still has the hunger and ability to compete with the very elite in the pool.
Just an hour previously Phelps was involved in a tantalising 200m butterfly final but was just beaten to the line by 20-year-old South African Chad le Clos, who reserved his best pace for the final 20m to overtake Phelps in breathtaking fashion.
As an athlete who has won so many world titles and Olympic medals, it seemed easy for Phelps to genuinely enjoy le Clos’ moment of glory. There was no doubt, judging by the crowd’s reaction, that Phelps would not secure his record-breaking gold.
By Stephen Jennings
[Image courtesy of marcopako ï£¿]