30 minutes after Michael Phelps fell to a young South African kid who no one had heard of before, Phelps rebounded after his loss in his baby the 200M Butterfly to become the most decorated Olympic athlete ever by achieving 19 Olympic medals. After receiving gold in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay, Phelps broke the record for an athlete with the most Olympics medals (18) which was held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina. He now holds 15 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals. 9 of Phelps gold medals were won by individual events and 8 of them were won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which I had the pleasure of witnessing.
The coolest part of the night was when I and Al Bello were in the hallway getting our scuba kits ready when we ran into Phelps, gave him a hug and congratulated him on his unbelievable accomplishment. Of course neither of us had a camera or iphone on us! I remember shooting him 14 years ago at the US Nationals in Seattle when he was an ackward 14 year-old kid who won the US title in the 200M Butterfly. You knew he was going to be a stud, but never dreamt he would be the best ever…Congrats to Michael and his accomplishment, unbelievable!!!