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US Swimmer Phelps Becomes Most Decorated Olympic Gold Medalist


American swimmer Michael Phelps surged to a pair of victories in the Olympic pool, Wednesday, to become the most decorated gold medal winner. VOA's Jim Stevenson was at the Water Cube in Beijing, where Phelps made Olympic history.

Michael Phelps has competed in five events, so far in Beijing. He was won all five with record times. The latest came in the 200-meter butterfly (1:52.03) and as a member of the U.S. 4x200 meter freestyle relay team (6:58.56).

After winning the individual event, Phelps collected his tenth career gold medal - more than any athlete in the history of the modern games.

"It started setting in a little bit after the [200-meter] butterfly [race]," Phelps said. "I was just sort of trying to focus on my next race. But I just kept thinking, wow, greatest Olympian of all time. It is a pretty cool saying -- a pretty cool title, you could say."

The 23-year-old Phelps says he has cherished each victory.

"It definitely never, ever gets old, listening to the national anthem play, with the gold medal around your neck," he said. "It is one of the greatest feelings I have ever had in the sport of swimming."

Should Phelps simply reach the podium in his final three events, he will have 14 career medals overall. Russian Larissa Latynina collected 18 medals overall in her career, including nine gold, five silver and four bronze.

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