Ok, so what happened just recently this summer? Ladies and Gentlemen, you all were lucky enough to experience moment of history.
Michael Phelps, who already was the most decorated Olympian in history, just set the new record mark for gold (and not only medals)! The Baltimore Bullet now has 28 Olympic medals total (and countless more from lower-level championships), 23 of them are gold. And in Rio Olympics, he won 5 gold and 1 silver. Not bad for a ‘retired’ 31-y.o. swimmer who decided to quit his sports career back in 2012 but did eventually come back.
Although it’s very unlikely this record will be beaten anytime in the next 100-200 years, let’s talk more about how things like this could happen.
If you look at the list of all-time Olympic medalists here, you will see that Phelps’ closest rivals had 18-15-13-and less medals, mostly in Gymnastics and, surprise-surprise, swimming:
The thing is that swimming discipline in Olympics includes a number of disciplines even if you specialize in 1 style – freestyle for example. Sprinters can compete for 50m, 100m and maybe even 200m (not very common, though) – best swimmers can get 3 golds from one Olympics. Phelps is a universal swimmer that allowed him to score that many medals (Beijing 2008 is a perfect example).
So it’s very likely that even someone will ever beat that record, it will also be a swimmer. Let us know your thoughts in comments!