The Olympics is primarily a team event, however every once in a while there comes along an amazing individual story. Michael Phelps has perhaps the best individual story of this year’s event. He has the opportunity to win 8 gold medals at the games in China, and so far it doesn’t look like anyone can stop him.
He is seeking to go one better than Mark Spitz’s record of seven golds in the Munich games way back in 1972. Michael Phelps has already joined Spitz in a different record, having earned 9 gold medals in his Olympic career overall and likely to surpass this with 5 events still to go. In fact by the time you read this he may already have 10 gold medals in his possession over all his Olympic appearances.
More people seem to be interested in the other record though, can Michael Phelps win 8 gold medals in just one Olympic games? It would be a truly remarkable effort if he does, one that will surely go down in history. Phelps celebrated his latest win in the 200m freestyle with another world record time, in fact all 3 gold medals so far have been in world record time. Mark Spitz set his record of 7 gold medals with 7 world record times as well, and Phelps may indeed be able to do the same.
Many people including Mark Spitz himself have been amazed at the courage of Phelps to go into this games with such a burden on his shoulders, even racing in events where he did not have the best times and did not dominate at the last Olympic games. The 200m freestyle was such an event, with Phelps only coming third at the last Olympic games, and now setting a new world record in that event.
I think everyone, whether they are an American or not, really wants him to crack this 8 Olympic gold record and set the sporting world on fire. The Olympics may be a team event but it is a truly special experience to see one person at the peak of their career who is so dominant and performing so well.