Factbox: Most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps


Posted at Aug 01 2012 12:44 PM | Updated as of Aug 01 2012 08:44 PM

LONDON - Factbox on swimmer Michael Phelps, who became the most decorated Olympian when he won his 19th medal after helping the United States to gold in the 4x200 metres freestyle relay at the London Games on Tuesday.

Making his name

Age: 27 (date of birth: June 30, 1985)

Place of birth: Baltimore, United States

* Coach Bob Bowman spots his potential as an 11 year old.

* Unusual physique with a long torso and comparatively short legs, provides minimal resistance in the water.

Early success

* One gold medal at 2001 world championships (200m butterfly)

* Four gold medals at 2003 world championships (200m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley, 4x100 medley relay)

First Olympics triumphs

* Six gold medals at 2004 Olympics in Athens (100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley, 4x200 freestyle relay, 4x100 medley relay)

* Two bronze medals at 2004 Olympics (200m freestyle, 4x100 freestyle relay)

First post-triumph stumble

* Sentenced to 18 months probation in December 2004 after pleading guilty to drunken driving in Maryland.

Star continues to rise

* Five gold medals at 2005 world championships (200m freestyle, 200m individual medley, 4x100 freestyle relay, 4x200 freestyle relay, 4x100 medley relay)

* Seven gold medals at 2007 World Championships (200m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley, 4x100 freestyle relay and 4x200 freestyle relay)

Olympics history in Beijing

* Eight gold medals at the Beijing Summer Olympics to eclipse Mark Spitz's 1972 record of seven (400m individual medley, 4x100m freestyle relay, 200m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 4x200 freestyle relay, 200m individual medley, 100m butterfly, 4x100 medley relay)

* Earns $1 million bonus from sponsors

* Becomes most successful Olympian of all time with a career tally of 14 golds, five more than anyone else.

Marijuana pipe

* Apologises in February 2009 after photograph of him using a marijuana pipe said to have been taken at a party at the University of South Carolina is published by British tabloid newspaper News of the World.

* USA Swimming bans Phelps for three months saying, "Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust."

World championships golds

* Wins five gold medals at the 2009 world championships (100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 4x100 freestyle, 4x200 freestyle, 4x100 medley) and a silver (200m freestyle)

* At the 2011 worlds he took four titles (100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 4x200 freestyle, 4x100 medley), two silvers (200m freestyle, 200m individual medley) and a bronze (4x100 freestyle).

Most decorated Olympian

* Phelps won a record 19th Olympic medal on Tuesday with a gold in the 4x200 freestyle to surpass Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina's record.

* The victory was his 15th career gold to go with two silver, one of which was won earlier in the day when he suffered a shock defeat in the 200 butterfly, and two bronze.

* Plans to retire after the 2012 Olympics

(Compiled by Larry Fine and Alison Wildey; editing by Greg Stutchbury)