Similar to track & field competitions, competitive swimming features different events where swimmers race against each other for the fastest time. The races are based on four different strokes: freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke, and backstroke. The different events include short and long distance races for each stroke, individual medleys (all four strokes), freestyle relays, medley relays, and open water 10 km races. The thrill of the sport is racing against other swimmers and swimming as fast as you can.
In each event the objective of the swimmer is to break a personal record or a world record while also trying to beat other opponents. The swimmer who reaches their finish lane first wins.
Phelps first began swimming at seven years of age with the help of his sisters who got him into the sport. Everyone started to see Michael’s potential at the age of 10 where he set multiple age group records. He even set a national record in his age group in the butterfly. The following year, Phelps trained under famous swimming coach Bob Bowman. With his coaching, at 15 years of age, Phelps became the youngest male to make the US Olympic swimming team since 1932. At his first Olympics in 2000, his best finish was 5th in the 200-meter butterfly. At the 2001 World Aquatics Championships, he broke the world record in the 200-meter butterfly, becoming the youngest male to ever set a world record. At the next Summer Olympics in 2004, Phelps won his first gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley. He won five more gold medals in that year's competition. Michael would go on to compete at the three more Olympics becoming the most decorated Olympic athlete of all-time with 28 medals. He retired after the 2016 Olympic games. He’s not only the best swimmer of all time but one of the best athletes ever.
June 30, 1985