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Michael Phelps is clearly the best athlete ever

If indeed this was Michael Phelps' last Olympics, he went out with what else; another gold medal.

If indeed this was Michael Phelps’ last Olympics, he went out with what else; another gold medal.

When you think of the greatest athletes of all time the first people to come into your mind are probably going to be those from the most popular sports ever, but despite participating in a sport that goes unnoticed outside of one week every four years, Michael Phelps has clearly earned that title.

Nobody has dominated a sport as long and by as big of a margin as Phelps has dominated the pool. From 2004 to 2016, Phelps has won and all-time record 28 medals with the most gold medals at 23 (more than twice as many of that as the second-most decorated Olympian), most gold medals in individual events (13) and most medals in individual events (16). In 2008, Phelps put together the most remarkable single games ever, breaking fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz’ record eight eight first-place finishes, five of those coming in individual events.

Even despite admittedly not going into the 2012 London Games with the greatest mindset, he won four more gold medals and two more silvers to add to his collection. But this time in Rio de Janeiro, knowing ahead of time it would be his swan song, Phelps went out in style. He wanted to redeem himself after what he saw as a disappointing 2012 and more than accomplished that with five more gold medals, including a fourth-straight gold in the 200 individual medal, reclaiming his spot as the very best in the 200-meter fly and three more relay golds.

There is nothing more the man can prove and at 31-years-old he’s ready to start the next stage of his life after swimming, even if his 4×100 medley relay teammates said they were not convinced he was truly finished.

But if indeed this truly is the end of Phelps swimming in the pool it has been an absolutely remarkable run and has made a tremendous claim to be called the best athlete in history; which considering the credentials, is hard to argue.

This article is also featured on So Much Sports Baltimore.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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