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Inspiring Biography of Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is an American retired swimmer.

He is the most successful Olympian ever as he won the most number of Olympic medals.


Michael Fred Phelps II (Michael Phelps) was born on June 30, 1985 to Michael Fred Phelps and Deborah Phelps in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

At the age of seven, he was introduced to swimming.

Unfortunately, Michael Phelps faced numerous problems in his childhood.

When he was just nine years old, his much beloved parents got divorced and this affected him negatively.

Michael Phelps found respite in swimming.


He also suffered from Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a chronic condition in which one suffers from attention difficulty and hyperactivity.

Thankfully, Michael Phelps received the much needed support from his mother, Deborah Phelps and his swimming coach, Bob Bowman.

Bob Bowman tirelessly motivated him by telling him that he can create history in swimming by breaking all the pre-existing world records.

Eventually, Michael Phelps developed a great interest in swimming by which he broke national records for his age group in swimming (100-meter butterfly) at a young age of 10 years.

At the age of 15, he qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics breaking the 68 year old record to become the youngest male to get qualified for the U.S. Olympic swim team, thanks to his rapid advancement in swimming.

In his first Olympics, even though Michael Phelps made the finals, he failed to win any medal.

Olympic records-

At the age of 19, Michael Phelps created several world records in the Olympics held in Athens, Greece.

He won the most number of medals in Olympic Summer Games held during the years 2004 (at Athens), 2008 (at Beijing), 2012 (at London) and 2016 (at Rio).

Michael Phelps won a total of 28 Olympics medals in just four Olympics and this made him the most decorated Olympian of all time.

Breaking the 36-year-old world record-

Mark Spitz created a world record by winning seven gold medals in all swimming formats in the 1972 Summer Olympics held at Munich, West Germany.

Michael Phelps publicly announced that he will break the world record created by Mark Spitz.

Many people including Ian Thorpe, an Australian retired swimmer opined that it was almost impossible for him to break Mark Spitz’s world record.

Michael Phelps used these negative comments to fuel-up his motivation and trained hard to improve his performance.

Since his childhood, he had an open mind and great imagination by which he dreamt to achieve the unachievable and become the greatest of all time.

Michael Phelps knew that he needed to practice very hard to break the challenging world record created by Mark Spitz.

For creating the world record, Mark Spitz trained eight hours daily for four years.

Michael Phelps trained even hard twelve hours daily for four years.

Injuries could not stop him-

Unfortunately, Michael Phelps suffered an injury in 2007 when he slipped and fell, this fractured his right wrist.

The doctors advised him to not to participate in the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

So, because of the fracture Michael Phelps could not practice swimming for the very important Beijing Olympics to be held in 2008.

As he previously announced that he will win eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, he became upset upon realising that he might not win them because of his wrist injury.

During this time, Michael Phelps decided to train with his legs without using his hands.

Thanks to this novel practice, his legs strengthened to a great extent which helped him to win many gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.

Most challenging part-

In the middle of the 200-meter butterfly, Michael Phelps’s goggles cracked and got filled up with water.

This was the most challenging event for him in the Beijing Olympics.

As Michael Phelps was in the middle of the event, he could not change his damaged goggles and he also knew that this is not the right time for him to make any excuses, as this event was of paramount importance to realise his dream of winning eight gold medals.

Although Michael Phelps was blinded for the next hundred meters with water accumulating in his goggles, he did not abandon the race in the middle and kept moving forward with a great speed.

He was very confident that he will definitely win the race because he practised very hard for this day.

After completing the race, Michael Phelps lifted his neck to see his rank.

His happiness knew no bounds when he saw World Record (WR) besides his name.

By this victory, his long cherished dream of winning eight gold medals got realised and Michael Phelps broke the 36 years old record of Mark Spitz by winning eight gold medals.

He also earned the Sportsman of the Year award by Sports Illustrated magazine after winning eight gold medals during the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Thanks to his astounding achievements, Michael Phelps proved his doubters wrong.

He did not stop after breaking the other’s records in swimming and went on to break his own records.

Michael Phelps’s powerful attitude and burning desire made him one of the most successful athletes in the world.

Maintaining focus-

Before participating in any event, to maintain focus, Michael Phelps used to listen to music by wearing headphones.

This unwavering focus greatly helped him to win many matches.

Additionally,  Michael Phelps used to give himself many positive affirmations.


In 2012, he retired at the age of 27.

Michael Phelps was greatly inspired by the other great sports persons like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods.

He began the next chapter of his life when he revoked his retirement in 2014 and restarted his winning saga by winning six gold and two bronze medals.

Michael Phelps is the only person in the world to win 23 gold medals in just 4 Olympics.

He was very successful in his sport because he religiously and consistently practised swimming even on the weekends, Sundays and on holidays, without taking a single break for 12 hours per day.

Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian athlete of all time and holds the all-time record for most Olympic gold medals.

He earned the title of World Swimmer of the Year, by the American-based Swimming World seven times, thanks to his record breaking performance and his international titles.

Realising his childhood dream-

Michael Phelps was greatly influenced by his elder sisters, Hilary Phelps and Whitney Phelps.

Both Hilary Phelps and Whitney Phelps used to travel nationally and internationally to participate in swimming competitions and return home with autographs.

He was very inspired by them and longed to earn fame and travel the world much like his elder sisters.

Since his childhood, Michael Phelps longed to become an Olympic gold medallist and break all the pre-existing records in swimming.

He constantly thought about these goals every single day which provided him the much needed motivation to practise swimming week after week and year after year until he realised his goals of becoming an Olympic gold medallist and creating new world records in swimming.

So, if we want to accomplish anything in our lives, the first and foremost step would be to dream about our goals.

Gaining an edge-

Michael Phelps was a very dominant player in the swimming pool because he trained hard seven days a week and 365 days a year without fail which allowed him to participate in one extra training session per week.

This gave him an extra of 52 days of practice per year by which he gained an edge over his competitors.

This strenuous training allowed Michael Phelps to break many world records in swimming.

He practised in this manner for five long years without even missing a single day of work out.

Because Michael Phelps knew that if a sportsperson misses a single day of work out, it takes him two days to revert back to his usual position.

This throws a light on his dedication.

A born swimmer-

Michael Phelps was a born swimmer because his body was very suitable for swimming.

His height of 6 feet 4 inches and arms span of 6 feet 7 inches greatly helped him to propel forward in water and his relatively short legs reduced the resistance in water.

Michael Phelps won a total of 83 medals in his career, which include 28 Olympic medals.

And out of those 28 Olympic medals, 23 are gold medals.

He used to consume a whopping 12000 calories per day whereas a normal person usually consumes around 2500 calories per day.

Michael Phelps retired for the second time on August 12, 2016, and after retirement he turned into an entrepreneur.

Michael Phelps Foundation–

In 2008, Michael Phelps established the Michael Phelps Foundation to teach the art of swimming to the world and promote healthier lifestyles.

He invested the money he earned as a bonus in his foundation.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What was Michael Phelps’s main stroke?

Michael Phelps main swimming stroke was butterfly.
From a young age, he became very proficient at butterfly.
In fact, the 10-year-old Michael Phelps created a national record for his age group in butterfly.
And just five years later, he broke the world record in the 200-meter butterfly.

Is Michael Phelps retired?

Yes, Michael Phelps retired from swimming.
He retired from competitive swimming on August 12, 2016.

Why did Michael Phelps retire?

Initially, Michael Phelps retired after the 2012 Olympics because at that time he disliked swimming.
But later he felt that this was not the right way to end his career, so he came out of retirement.
This time he made sure to enjoy the sport and give his best and he announced his retirement on August 12, 2016 in the same mood.

Will Michael Phelps swim again?

No, Michael Phelps has no plans to swim again and he also stated that he will not come back.

How can Michael Phelps eat so much?

Michael Phelps was consuming too much food while training.
He had to consume so many calories because he was burning too many calories while swimming for long hours.
Eating was Michael Phelps’s way to maintain weight and not lose too much weight due to swimming.

Is Michael Phelps a vegetarian?

No, Michael Phelps isn’t a vegetarian because he eats chicken and fish and occasionally red meat.

What does Michael Phelps eat?

After retiring from swimming, Michael Phelps changed his diet.
He prefers eating a lot of greens especially spinach and chicken and fish.
Michael Phelps occasionally consumes red meat in small quantities.

Can Michael Phelps outswim a shark?

No, Michael Phelps can’t outswim a shark because the white sharks can swim up to 25 miles an hour but he can swim only six miles an hour.

Can Michael Phelps outswim a gator?

No, Michael Phelps can’t outswim a an alligator because its maximum speed in the water is around 19 miles per hour whereas Michael Phelps can only swim six miles an hour.

Featured image credit- Wikimedia Commons

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