MICHAEL PHELPS Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Michael Fred Phelps II                                                                 
Born: 30 June 1985 Baltimore, Maryland                                                       
Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an                     
American swimmer and World Record Holder in several events. Phelps' achievements             
include a record of eight medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, six of               
which were gold, tying the Olympic record for medals at single Olympics, held by             
Alexander Dityatin since 1980. Phelps's international titles, along with his                 
various world records, have resulted in him being named World Swimmer of the                 
Year four times in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007.                                               
At the age of 15, Phelps competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. He was             
the youngest American male swimmer at an Olympic Games in 68 years. While he did             
not win a medal, he was fifth in the 200 m Butterfly. Phelps proceeded to make a             
name for himself in swimming shortly thereafter. Five months after the Sydney               
Olympics, Phelps broke the world record in the 200 m butterfly to become, at 15             
years and 9 months, the youngest man ever to set a swimming world record. He                 
then broke his own record again at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan (1:54.58).     
At the 2002 Summer Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Phelps also broke the world                 
record for the 400 m individual medley and set American marks in the 100 m                   
butterfly and the 200 m individual medley.                                                   
In 2003, Phelps broke his own world record in the 400 m individual medley (4:09.09)         
and in June, he broke the world record in the 200 m individual medley (1:56.04).             
Then on July 7, 2004, Phelps broke his own world record again in the 400 m                   
individual medley (4:08.41) during the U.S. trials for the 2004 Summer Olympics.             
Phelps' dominance has brought comparisons to former swimming great Mark Spitz,               
who won seven gold medals in the 1972 Summer Olympics, a world record. Phelps               
tied Mark Spitz's record of 4 individual gold medals by winning four himself.               
Phelps had the chance to break Spitz's record of 7 total gold medals in the 2004             
Athens Olympics by competing in eight swimming events (5 of which were                       
individual events): the 200 m freestyle, the 100 m butterfly, the 200 m                     
butterfly, the 200 m individual medley, the 400 m individual medley, the 4x100 m             
freestyle relay, 4x200 m freestyle relay, and the 4x100 m medley relay. However,             
his 4x100 m freestyle relay team only won the bronze medal, and he personally               
placed for bronze in the 200 m freestyle. Thus, he fell short of that record.               
However, he did win eight medals in one Olympics, a feat only achieved by                   
Alexander Dityatin, a gymnast, in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.                               
Had he won seven golds, he would have been eligible for a US$1 million bonus                 
from his sponsor, Speedo.                                                                   
Phelps does, however, have another chance at this $1 million should he win seven             
or more golds at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.                                   
On August 14, 2004, he won his first Olympic gold, in the 400 m individual                   
medley, setting another new world record (4:08.26). On August 16 he was beaten               
by the Australian winner Ian Thorpe and the Dutch Pieter van den Hoogenband in               
200 m freestyle final, called the race of the century.                                       
On August 20, in the 100 m butterfly final, Phelps defeated American teammate               
Ian Crocker (who holds the world record in the event) by just 0.04 seconds.                 
Traditionally, the Olympian who places highest in an individual event will be               
automatically given the corresponding leg of the 4x100 m medley relay. This gave             
Phelps an automatic entry into the medley relay but he deferred and Crocker swam             
instead. The American medley team went on to win the event in world record time,             
and, since he had raced in a preliminary heat of the medley relay, Phelps was               
also awarded a gold medal along with the team members that competed in the final.           
Phelps grew up in the Rodgers Forge neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, and                 
graduated from Towson High School in 2003. In November of 2004, Phelps was                   
arrested for drunken driving. He pled guilty in December and was granted                     
probation before judgment and ordered to serve 18 months probation. As of                   
2007, Phelps is now attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan,             
intending to major in sports marketing or sports management. Phelps followed his             
longtime coach, Bob Bowman to Ann Arbor. Bowman left Phelps' previous swim team,             
the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, to become the head coach of the University of             
Michigan varsity swim team. Phelps is serving as a volunteer assistant coach,               
but cannot swim for the university's team because of his loss of amateur status.             
Phelps is sponsored by Speedo, Visa, Omega, PowerBar, and Matsunichi.                       
Phelps, along with Ian Crocker and Lenny Krayzelburg, founded the "Swim with the             
Stars" program. This program promotes swimming and conducts camps for swimmers               
of all ages.