Michael Phelps has now been dubbed the greatest Olympian of all time after eclipsing Mark Spitz’s 7 golds in a single Olympics with his 8th gold in Beijing in the 4 x 100 medley relay. Again, it was Jason Lezak who made sure that Phelps made his goal as he anchored the final leg, keeping the lead that Phelps had given him.
Though the Americans had never lost the event, it was not a piece of cake as the team came in third behind Japan and Australia when Phelps jumped in for the third leg. However, Phelps overtook both teams as he used the same stroke and distance he used in his 7th gold. He passed the lead to Lezak in the anchor leg and despite Australia’s attempt to spoil Phelps’ record, the Americans will not be denied this honor. The Americans broke the world record again with Lezak touching in at 3 minutes and 29.34 seconds.
After the win, Phelps hugged all his teammates, thanking them for the support they had given him. “Without the help of my teammates, it wouldn’t have been possible,” he said. Out of his 8 golds, 3 were from relays that he was a part of. Phelps set seven world records and one Olympic record, doing a personal best time in every event. While competitors ganged up on him and spewed out challenges that would faze normal athletes, Phelps kept cool and responded to them by doing his best in the pool.
He ran up to his Mom and sisters and gave each one a hug and a kiss. His mother hugged him tighter with tears streaming down her face. It was every mother’s dream — to raise a son who would conquer every challenge in his life head on and triumph by etching his name in history as the greatest Olympian yet. He not only holds the record for the most golds in a single Olympics, but he is also the Olympian with the most career golds at 14, 5 more than any other Olympian in history — and he has one more Games to go.
After receiving his eighth gold, they cranked up the American flag and the Star Spangled Banner. Phelps looked up to his Mom and sisters and finally gave in following days of challenges and pressure — he broke down and cried.