The Baltimore Bullet’s first Olympic appearance came in 2000 in Sydney when he was chosen for the US swim team at the age of just 15 – the youngest American swimmer selected for a Games in almost 70 years.
He failed to win a medal in Australia but it was clear that Sydney was just a learning experience and this was to prove no setback.
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The American swimmer ended his career after his fifth Games, in Rio in 2016, where at the age of 31 he won a further five gold medals and a silver, taking his tally to 23 Olympic titles and 28 medals! Diagnosed with Attention Deficit disorder, Phelps was directed towards swimming in 1992 at the age of just seven in order to provide him with an outlet for his unbounded energy.After that, his transformation into an unbeatable swimmer appeared inexorable, and he broke record after record as he rose through the age categories.A year later Phelps became the youngest male swimmer to break a world record with a win in the 400m freestyle at the 2001 World Aquatics Championship – a taste of future glory.The next two years saw Phelps amass a haul of gold and silver medals at international swim meets and break numerous world records in the 200m and 400m individual medley races.
His tally at the 2003 World Aquatic Championship of four golds and two silvers, along with five world records, set the scene for a thrilling performance at the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece. In his first event, the 400-meter individual medley, hewon with a world record time of .26 to take his first Olympic gold medal.
Though he lost out to Ian Thorpe in the 200m freestyle, the so-called “Race of the Century”, the following days saw the young American scoop gold in the 200m butterfly, the 4x200 freestyle relay, the 100m butterfly and the 4x100m medley.