Michael Fred Phelps II, excellently known as Michael Phelps is an American former competitive swimmer. He is well known for winning six gold medals at the 2004 Olympics, eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics, and four gold medals at the 2012 Olympics. Across his career, he became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time with 28 total medals, including 23 golds. He began swimming to burn off excess energy when he was seven and was diagnosed with ADHD when he was ten. Michael became the youngest male to make the U.S. swim team in 68 years and revealed that he ate 12,000 calories each day during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Other than swimming matches itself, Michael was first seen in the TV show Miss USA 2005 as himself – “Celebrity Judge” in 2005. He announced his second retirement on 12th August 2016, having won more medals than 161 countries. Phelps is also widely regarded as the greatest swimmer of all time and is often considered to be one of the greatest athletes of all time. Furthermore, he holds world records in three events (indicated in bold) as of 1st August 2021.
What is Michael Phelps Famous For?
- Being an American former competitive swimmer.
- For being the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 28 medals.
What Nationality is Michael Phelps?
Michael Phelps took birth on 30th June 1985 with the real name of Michael Fred Phelps II in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. He holds American nationality and he came from mixed ethnicity as he is of English, Irish, Welsh, German, Scottish, and distant Dutch descent. Similarly, his religion is Christian and his race is white. Phelps has celebrated his 36th birthday as of 2021 and as per his birthdate, his zodiac sign is Cancer. He is the youngest of three children. His mother, Deborah Sue “Debbie” Phelps (nee Davisson), is a middle school principal. His father, Michael Fred Phelps, is a retired Maryland State Trooper who played football in high school and college and tried out for the Washington Football Team in the 1970s. His parents divorced in 1994 when he was nine years old, and his father remarried in 2000. He later revealed that the divorce had a severe negative impact on him and his siblings, and his relationship with his father was distant for a few years after the divorce. He has two older sisters named, Whitney Phelps, Hilary Phelps.
Reflecting on Michael’s academic qualification, he attended Rodgers Forge Elementary, Dumbarton Middle School, and Towson High School. He later graduated from Towson High School in 2003.
Michael Phelps Swimming Career
- Michael Phelps conceived his swimming career at the age of seven whereas his rapid improvement culminated when he qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics at the age of 15, as he became the youngest male to make a U.S. Olympic swim team in 68 years. While he did not win a medal, Phelps did make the finals and finished fifth in the 200-meter butterfly.
- Then he broke the world record at the World Championship Trials for the 2001 World Aquatics Championships on 30th March in the 200-meter butterfly to become, at 15 years and 9 months, the youngest male ever to set a world record in swimming.
- He broke his own world record in the 200-meter butterfly while en route to becoming a world champion for the first time at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
- He set an American record in the 200-meter individual medley and was just off the world record in the 200-meter butterfly in the Nationals, the selection meets for the 2002 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- In the 400-meter individual medley, he bettered the world record held by Tom Dolan with a time of 4:11.09, just ahead of Erik Vendt, who finished second with a time of 4:11.27.
- He won three gold medals and two silvers at the 2002 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Yokohama, Japan, and in his first event, the 400-meter individual medley, Phelps won gold ahead of Erik Vendt with a time of 4:12.48.
- In the final for the medley relay, he swam a 51.1 split, at the time the fastest split in history. The final time of 3:33.48 was a world record.
- Phelps won the 200-meter freestyle, 200-meter backstroke, and the 100-meter butterfly at Nationals and became the first American swimmer to win three different races in three different strokes at a national championship.
- At the 2003 Duel in the Pool, a meet that pits swimming stars from Australia and the United States, he broke the world record in the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:10.73 and almost broke the world record in the 100-meter butterfly, just missing the record by 0.03 seconds.
- He broke the world record in the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 1:57.94 at a meet in Santa Clara County, California, and at the 2003 World Aquatics Championships, Phelps won four gold medals, two silver medals, and broke five world records. He broke his first world record on 22nd July in the semi-finals for the 200-meter butterfly.
- He swam a 1:53.93 to break his own world record of 1:54.58 set in 2001 and became the first man to swim under 1:54.00.
- In the final of the 200-meter butterfly, on 23rd July he easily won the gold medal but did not come close to his world record with a time of 1:54.35.
- As well, he earned his final gold medal when the United States team won the 4×100-meter medley relay. Phelps did not swim in the finals but still earned a medal because he swam in the heats.
- He competed in six events; the 200- and 400-meter individual medley, the 100- and 200-meter butterfly, the 200-meter freestyle, and the 200-meter backstroke at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
- He also easily won with a world record time of 4:08.41 in his first event, the 400-meter individual medley and in his first event, the 400-meter individual medley, Phelps won his first Olympic gold medal in the world record time of 4:08.26.
- Phelps finished in third place behind Ian Thorpe and Pieter van den Hoogenband in the event many were calling “The Race of the Century”.
- He finished first with a time of 1:57.14, an Olympic record in the 200-meter individual medley and he became the second male swimmer ever to win more than two individual titles at a single Games with four, tying Spitz’s four from 1972.
- Phelps decided to drop his specialty events at the 2005 World Championship Trials, the 400-meter individual medley, and the 200-meter butterfly, and experiment with the 400-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle.
- He won a total of six medals, five golds, and won silver at the 2005 World Aquatics Championships, and won his first gold in the Championships in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.
- In the final, he could not match the speed of Ian Crocker and had to settle for silver, finishing 51.65 to 50.40, a new world record for Crocker.
- He earned his final gold medal when the United States team won the 4×100-meter medley relay on 31st July and did not swim in the finals but still earned a medal because he swam in the heats.
- At the 2006 National Championships, Phelps won three events whereas he won five gold medals and one silver at the 2006 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Victoria, British Columbia.
- In his first event, the 200-meter butterfly, he won in a world record time of 1:53.80, his first world record in two years as well as he won with a world record time of 1:55.84, breaking his record of 1:55.94 set in 2003 in his sixth event, the 200-meter individual medley.
- Phelps won seven gold medals at the 2007 World Aquatics Championships and won the gold ahead of Pieter van den Hoogenband and broke Ian Thorpe’s six-year-old world record with a time of 1:43.86. By winning seven gold medals, he broke the record of six set by Ian Thorpe at the 2001 World Championships.
- He competed in six individual events at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and in his fifth event, the 200-meter individual medley, Michael broke his own world record of 1:54.98 with a time of 1:54.80. He also set an Olympic record in the preliminary heats of the 400-meter individual medley.
- Also, he swam the first leg of the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in a time of 47.51 seconds, and won his second gold medal of the 2008 Olympics, as well as set his second world record of the Olympics (3:08.24).
- For his third race, he broke his previous world record in the 200-meter freestyle by nearly a second and won his third gold medal. He also set his third world record at the Olympics, 1:42.96. In this race, he became the fifth Olympic athlete in modern history to win nine gold medals, joining Mark Spitz, Larisa Latynina, Paavo Nurmi, and Carl Lewis.
- After taking a day off from finals, Michael won his sixth gold of the Beijing Games on August 15 by winning the 200-meter individual medley with a world record time of 1:54.23, finishing ahead of Cseh by over two seconds.
- He along with teammates Brendan Hansen, Aaron Peirsol, and Jason Lezak, set a new world record in the event with a time of 3 minutes and 29.34 seconds, 0.7 seconds ahead of second-place Australia and 1.34 seconds faster than the previous record set by the United States at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
- Michael drastically shortened his program, swimming in only three individual events at the 2009 National Championships and at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships, he won a total of 6 medals, 5 golds, and 1 silver.
- He rebounded from this loss and for his third race, the 200-meter butterfly, Phelps won the gold and broke his own world record of 1:52.03 with a time of 1:51.51.
- He competed in five individual events at the 2010 National Championships and he opted out swimming in the final of the 200-meter freestyle to focus on the 200-meter butterfly on the first day of competition at the 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.
- In his final event, he swam in the 4×100-meter medley relay with Aaron Peirsol, Mark Gangloff, and Adrian and finished first ahead of Japan and Australia.
- Phelps won bronze in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with Garrett Weber-Gale, Jason Lezak, and Nathan Adrian in his first event at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai as well as he won silver for the second consecutive time at a World Aquatics Championships in his second event, the 200-meter freestyle.
- In his last event, the 4×100-meter medley relay, he teamed with Nick Thoman, Mark Gangloff, and Nathan Adrian to win gold in a time of 3:32.06. His butterfly leg of 50.57 was by far the fastest butterfly leg in the field.
- Phelps originally stated he would never do eight events again, and would instead try new events for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. But at the 2012 United States Olympic Trials, the qualifying meets for the 2012 Summer Olympics, he qualified in the same eight events that he swam in Beijing in 2008.
- He placed eighth in the morning prelims for the 400-meter individual medley on 28th July 2012 and in his first finals of the Summer Olympics, Michael placed fourth behind fellow American Ryan Lochte, Thiago Pereira of Brazil, and Kosuke Hagino of Japan in the 400-meter individual medley which was the first time Phelps failed to medal in an Olympic event since 2000.
- He won his 16th Olympic gold medal on 2nd August 2012 when he edged out Ryan Lochte to win the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 1:54.27, and by that victory also became the first male swimmer to win the same event in three consecutive Olympics.
- His final event was the 4×100-meter medley relay in which he went on to win his 18th career gold medal and his 22nd overall. After his last event, the international swimming federation FINA honored him with an award commemorating his standing as the most decorated Olympian ever
- Subsequently, Phelps retired from swimming after the 2012 Olympics, stating: “I’m done. I’m finished. I’m retired. I’m done. No more,” and that “I just wanted to be done with swimming and didn’t want anything to do with the sport anymore.”
- Later he announced in April 2014 that he would come out of retirement, and would enter an event later that month as he was reportedly motivated by the national team’s failure to win the men’s 4 × 100 m freestyle relay since their Beijing 2008 and Rome 2009 titles.
- He instead competed in the US National Championships in San Antonio as his target meet of the summer after having been dropped from the team for the 2015 World Aquatics Championships for a DUI.
- He won gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly (50.45 s), 200-meter butterfly (1:52.94), and the 200-meter individual medley (1:54.75). In each of these events, he swam for the fastest time in the world for 2015.
- He won titles in the same three events, again in a long course, bringing his career total to 62 national titles in December 2015 at the Winter Nationals in Federal Way.
- Also, Michael won the 200 m butterfly (1:54.84), the 200 m individual medley (1:55.91), and the 100 m butterfly (51.00 s) events at the US trials in Omaha for the 2016 Summer Olympics which made him the first American male swimmer, and the second American swimmer overall after Dara Torres, to qualify for a fifth Olympics.
- He was chosen to be the American flag bearer at the opening ceremony, which was the first Olympic opening ceremony that he would attend. He was also voted by the U.S. Olympic swim team as one of six team captains for the US delegation to the Olympics.
- Michael on his first gold medal of the 2016 Games and his 19th Olympic gold medal overall in his first event on 7th August the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay.
- In his second event on August 9, the 200-meter butterfly, Phelps became the first swimmer in history to make five finals in the same event, after finishing 5th in 2000, 1st in 2004 and 2008, and 2nd in 2012.
- At age 31, the victory made Michael not only the oldest male champion, but also the oldest individual champion in Olympic swimming history, beating the records set by Duke Kahanamoku in 1920, and Inge de Bruijn in 2004 respectively.
- He also became the first swimmer to win individual gold medals 12 years apart and also on 9th August he won his 21st gold medal in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay together with Conor Dwyer, Townley Haas, and Ryan Lochte.
- He also became the third Olympian to win the same individual event four times, after athletes Al Oerter and Carl Lewis whereas, with that 13th individual gold medal, Phelps broke an ancient Olympic record, set by Leonidas of Rhodes, who had held the most Olympic individual titles of all time, with twelve.
- Additionally, Michael ended his career with another gold medal on 13th August, in the 4 × 100-meter medley relay which was his 23rd at the Olympics and his 28th Olympic medal overall. He retired from competitive swimming again following the Rio Olympics.
- Michael Phelps has set 39 world records (29 individual, 10 relays), which is more records than any other swimmer that is recognized by FINA; this achievement surpassed Mark Spitz’s previous record of 33 world records (26 individual, 7 relays).
- All but two of the records were set in a long-course (50-meter) pool. He holds world records in three events (indicated in bold) as of 1st August 2021.
Michael Phelps Legal Issues
Michael Phelps was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Salisbury, Maryland at the age of 19 in November 2004. He pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and was sentenced to serve 18 months of probation, fined $250, ordered to speak to high school students about drinking and driving, and to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) meeting.
He was arrested again in September 2014, this time on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding in Baltimore. As a result, USA Swimming suspended him from all competitions for six months and stated he would not be chosen to represent the United States at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in August.
Awards and Achievements
- Swimming World World Swimmer of the Year Award: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012
- Swimming World American Swimmer of the Year Award: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016
- Fédération internationale de natation swimmer of the year (since 2010): 2012, 2016
- Golden Goggle Male Performance of the Year (since 2004): 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2016
- Golden Goggle Relay Performance of the Year (since 2004): 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2016
- Golden Goggle Male Athlete of the Year (since 2004): 2004, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016
- Golden Goggle Impact award: 2016
- SwimSwam Swammy Award for Male Swimmer of the Year: 2016
- USOC Sportsman of the Year Award: 2004, 2008, 2011-2012, 2016
- James E. Sullivan Award: 2003
- Gazzetta Dello Sport Sportsman of the Year: 2003, 2004
- Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award (nominated): 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2013
- Laureus Comeback of the Year Award: 2017
- Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year: 2008
- Associated Press Athlete of the Year: 2008, 2012
- Marca Leyenda award: 2008
- Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion, 2019
Who is Michael Phelps Wife?
Michael Phelps is a married guy. He tied a knot with former Miss California USA Nicole Johnson. They secretly married on 13th June 2016, and the marriage was not publicly reported until four months later. They met in 2007 at the ESPYs, broke up in 2012, reconciled, and got engaged in February 2015. Their son, Boomer Robert Phelps, was born on 5th May 2016. On 13th June 2016, the couple wed in a private ceremony. Their second son, Beckett Richard Phelps, was born on 12th February 2018, and their third son, Maverick Nicolas Phelps, was born on 9th September 2019. Reflecting Michael’s sexual orientation, he is straight.
Everything That You Need To Know About Nicole Johnson
How much is Michael Phelps Net Worth?
Michael Phelps has a net worth of $80 million as of 2021. He also earns a fine amount of salary which is around $9,300,000 per year. Michael has signed endorsement deals with Speedo, Omega, AT&T, Powerbar, Visa, Argent Mortgage, etc. He has also appeared in TV adverts for Under Armour, Subway restaurants, Head & Shoulders, and others. In 2011, “Michael Phelps: Push the Limit”, an Xbox 360/Kinect game, was released, which promised to bring “the fun, fitness and excitement of head to head swimming to your living room.” After the 2008 Olympics, Michael used his $1 million Speedo bonus to set up the Michael Phelps Foundation. His foundation focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles. In addition, his major source of income is from his swimming career.
What is the Height of Michael Phelps?
Michael Phelps has unarguably accomplished a decent height career-wise. His height is 6 ft 4 in or 193 cm and his body weight is around 90 kg or 198.5 lbs. Enriched with the toned bicep and perfect built, Michael doesn’t hesitate to go shirtless. He has blue eyes and lights brown hair color. Moreover, he has an athletic body build with 47.5-16-35 inches of body measurement. In January 2018, Phelps revealed that he has struggled both with ADHD and depression, having contemplated suicide after the 2012 Olympics.