Phelps Ends Olympic Career With 18th Gold

    Michael Phelps of the U.S. swims the butterfly leg of the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 4, 2012.
    Michael Phelps of the U.S. swims the butterfly leg of the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 4, 2012.
    Parke Brewer

    LONDON — American superstar swimmer Michael Phelps closed out his brilliant career with a gold medal, swimming the butterfly leg of the victorious U.S. men’s 4x100 meter medley relay team.

     

    It was the final race in the pool at these Summer Games and gave Phelps a remarkable all-time Olympics career record of 18 gold medals among his remarkable 22 total.  No one else has more than nine golds.  

     

    “Through the ups and downs through my career, I’ve still been able to do everything that I’ve wanted to accomplish.   And I’ve been able to do things that nobody has ever done, and that’s been something I’ve always I wanted to do," he said. 

     

    The previous all-time total for Olympic medals was 18 held by former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

     

    At his post-race news conference, Phelps was asked how he would describe his place in Olympic history, and he shared a conversation he had with longtime coach Bob Bowman.

     

    “I was in the warm-down pool and I said to Bob, I’ve looked up to Michael Jordan my whole life because he’s done something that no one has ever done and he is the greatest basketball player to ever play the game," he said. "And I said, ‘you know what, I’ve been able to become the best swimmer of all-time, and we got here together.’  And I thanked him.  And it was funny, when I got out of the pool, he was like, ‘that’s not fair.’ And I said, ‘What’s not fair about it?’  And he goes, ‘you were in the pool.  I was like ‘yeah, my tears could hide behind my goggles. Yours are streaming down your face.’”

     

    At age 27, Michael Phelps says he is done with competitive swimming.

     

     At age 17, Missy Franklin is the rising star of the U.S. women’s swim team.  She captured her fourth gold medal of the Olympics by helping lead the U.S. to victory in the women’s 4x100 meter medley relay.  The quartet posted a time of 3:52.05 seconds, breaking the world record set by China in 2009 by .14 seconds.

     

    The U.S. women gave each other a big group hug on the pool deck after the win, and Franklin said they were almost at a loss for words.

     

    “I don’t really think we said anything.  I think just that hug said it all, just being together and being in each other’s arms and knowing that it was done and our Olympic experience of 2012 was over.  And we couldn’t be more happy with how we finished it, just knowing that we were all there together, just savoring that moment of being world record holders and gold medalists for our country," she said. 

     

    The other world record on the final night came in the men’s 1,500 meter freestyle,  China’s Sun Yang clocked 14:31.02, bettering his own mark of last year (14:34.14) by more than three seconds.

     

    The gold medal in the men’s 50 meter freestyle went to Dutchman Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

     

    The United States dominated the London Olympics swimming competition.  The American men’s and women’s teams each won eight gold medals, or half of the races contested.  Together they won 30 total medals of the 96 handed out.  Seventeen countries in all won swimming medals.

     

    There are still two more swimming contests, but they are the 10-kilometer marathon events that take place in open water.  The women compete Thursday and the men on Friday. 


    Track & Field in Full Swing

    Britain's Mo Farah holds the Union Flag after winning the men's 10,000m final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 4, 2012.Britain's Mo Farah holds the Union Flag after winning the men's 10,000m final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 4, 2012.
    x
    Britain's Mo Farah holds the Union Flag after winning the men's 10,000m final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 4, 2012.
    Britain's Mo Farah holds the Union Flag after winning the men's 10,000m final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 4, 2012.
    Meanwhile, British runner Mo Farah has won the 10,000-meters competition, holding off American training partner Galen Rupp and Ethiopia's Tariku Bekele, who finished third.


    Earlier, a packed track and field stadium roared as Briton Jessica Ennis clinched the heptathlon competition with a win in the 800 meters.  Britain's medal tally places it third in the overall standings, behind the United States and China.
     

    South Africa's Oscar Pistorius starts in a men's 400-meter heat during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, August 4, 2012.South Africa's Oscar Pistorius starts in a men's 400-meter heat during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, August 4, 2012.
    x
    South Africa's Oscar Pistorius starts in a men's 400-meter heat during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, August 4, 2012.
    South Africa's Oscar Pistorius starts in a men's 400-meter heat during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, August 4, 2012.
    History Making

    South Africa's Oscar Pistorius also strode into Olympic history Saturday, becoming the first amputee runner to compete in the Games.  

    Pistorius, who wears special prosthetics on both legs, finished second in a preliminary heat of the men's 400 meters.  He qualified for the semi-finals.

    Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce retained her Olympic title by winning the gold medal in the women's 100-meter race.  She clocked 10.75 seconds to beat American Carmelita Jeter, who crossed the finish line at 10.78 seconds.  Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown took the bronze in 10.81. 


    Photo Gallery: Michael Phelps
     

    • US swimmer Michael Phelps poses after receiving the trophy of the greatest olympic athlete of all time after winning gold in the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London. Phelps brought his Olympic swimming career to a close in style, winning a record 18th gold medal as the United States stormed to victory in the 4x100m medley relay.
    • US swimmer Michael Phelps (C) reacts with teammates Brendan Hansen, Nathan Adrian and Matthew Grevers after they competed in the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • Michael Phelps of the U.S. swims the butterfly leg of the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 4, 2012.
    • Michael Phelps of the U.S. celebrates winning gold in the men's 100m butterfly final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre, August 3, 2012.
    • United States' Michael Phelps displays his gold medal for the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
    • United States' Michael Phelps poses with his gold medal for the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, July 31, 2012.
    • From left, Michael Phelps, Conor Dwyer, Ricky Berens and Ryan Lochte pose with their gold medals for the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in London, July 31, 2012.
    • Michael Phelps competes in the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, July 31, 2012.
    • Michael Phelps waits to receive his silver medal for the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, July 31, 2012.
    • Michael Phelps displays his eighth gold medal after the men's 4x100-meter medley relay final at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
    • Michael Phelps competes in the 100-meter butterfly at the Indianapolis Grand Prix swimming meet in Indianapolis, March 29, 2012.
    • Michael Phelps and his mother Debbie Phelps attend the Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection during Fashion Week in New York, February 8, 2012.
    • Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps posing in the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif. (Jan 2008 file photo)

    Photo Gallery: Day 8 of Competition
     

    • Gold medalist Jamaica's gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (C) wins the women's 100m final at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • Britain's Mohamed Farah celebrates with his daughter Rihanna after winning the men's 10,000m final at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • South Africa's Oscar Pistorius (L) and Russia's Maksim Dyldin compete in the men's 400m heats at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates after winning the women's 100m final at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • Nigeria's Regina George competes in the women's 400m semifinals at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • US swimmer Michael Phelps poses after receiving the trophy of the greatest olympic athlete of all time after winning gold in the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • US swimmer Michael Phelps (C) reacts with teammates Brendan Hansen, Nathan Adrian and Matthew Grevers after they competed in the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • China's Sun Yang reacts after he won gold in the men's 1500m freestyle final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • Russia's Andrey Demanov competes during the men's 94kg group A weightlifting event of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Excel Centre in London on August 4, 2012.
    • China's Li Xuerui (R) and compatriot Wang Yihan pose with their gold and silver medals respectively after their gold medal women's singles badminton match at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London, August 4, 2012.
    • Gold medalist Britain's Jessica Ennis poses on the podium of the heptathlon at the athletics event during the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
    • Yamaguchi Falcao Florentino of Brazil exits the ring victorious over Fanlong Meng of China in their round of 16 Light-heavyweight (81kg) match of the London 2012 Olympic Games

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: mukul from: delhi
    August 05, 2012 9:40 AM
    he is greay guy...his career is marvelous...

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora