Michael Phelps Wins 13th Olympic Gold Medal, Breaks 2,000 Year-Old Record

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The Olympics has seen its share of legendary athletes, but the 2016 Summer Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is home to one amazing record-breaking performance by swimmer Michael Phelps.

Phelps won his 13th individual gold medal on Thursday and broke a 2,000 year old record. Now Phelps has 22 gold medals overall, and 26 Olympic medals to his name.

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“Right now I don’t know how to wrap my head around that. I don’t know what to say. It’s been a hell of a career,” Phelps is quoted as saying.

The previous Olympic gold medal record holder was a Greek runner named Leonidas, who competed and excelled in three events known as the stadion, a sprint of roughly 200m; the diaulos, which was twice the distance of the stadion; and the longer hoplitodromos, or race in armour.

According to Paul Cartledge, professor of classics at the University of Cambridge, “He broke through the distinction between sprinters and endurance athletes. They were running in armour, the temperature would be 40C. The conditions were fantastically unpleasant, requiring completely different muscles and gymnastic skills.”

Every Olympics has epic victories and stories of great achievement, but 31-year-old Phelps is a breed of his own in the sport of swimming. With his win in the 200 meter individual medley, he also reached record status along with track and field Olympians Al Oerter and Carl Lewis as the only American to win the same event four times.

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Phelps will certainly go down in history as one of the best athletes of ever compete in the Olympics. Out of the many inspirational quotes Phelps has provided over his career , here’s one to remember:

“So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.”

 

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About the author: Evan Vitkovski

 

An American writer, filmmaker, journalist, and blogger living in Taipei, Taiwan. So many stories to tell, so little time.

 

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