For many years now, swimming fans have become accustomed to seeing Michael Phelps compete in the Olympics. 

And as long as he’s been in the pool, there have been few swimmers that could touch him. Between the Olympics, World Championships and Pan Pacific Championships, Phelps has amassed 66 first place medals, 14 silver medals and three bronze medals. 

The Baltimore native has grown accustomed to dominating any race in which he competes. But will he be in the lanes of the Tokyo Aquatics Center for the 2021 Olympics? 

Here’s what you need to know about Phelps this year: 

Is Michael Phelps swimming in the Olympics?

Swimming fans have most likely seen the last of Phelps competing in the Olympics. He retired once after the 2012 Olympics, though he returned for the 2016 Rio Games. 

He made a triumphant return, capturing five gold medals — including in two individual events — and added a silver medal to his resume. Following the conclusion of the games, he announced his retirement once again. Now at 36 years old, this retirement seems likely to last. 

Will you see Phelps at the 2021 games? The answer to that is yes, if the camera turns around in NBC’s broadcasting booth. The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch reported that Phelps will be joining Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines in the booth for several events during the games. 

Phelps has already had the chance to put on a headset, occasionally joining Mike Tirico and Gaines during the U.S. Olympic Trials to talk with them about life after competitive swimming. 

How old was Michael Phelps in his first Olympics?

Young. Very young. 

Phelps has been making voyages across the world for the Olympics since he was only 15 years only when he had the chance to compete in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He reached the finals in the 200 meter butterfly, though he placed only fifth and did not return to stateside with any medals. 

He changed that in emphatic fashion during his next trip overseas. Traveling to Athens for the 2004 Olympics, he tied the record for the most medals won in a single event when he brought home six gold medals and a pair of bronze medals. Phelps won the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 200 individual medley and 400 individual medley, and participated in the winning units on the 4×100 medley and 4×200 freestyle relays. He finished third in the 200 freestyle and the American unit placed third in the 4×100 freestyle. 

How many Olympic medals has Michael Phelps won? 

There is no athlete in the world that can match Phelps for total medals or gold medals. 

The American swimmer has 28 Olympic medals in total, with 23 being gold, three being silver and his two Athens bronze medals. Of his 23 gold medals, 13 are for individual events, which is also a record among Olympians. 

Phelps earned a large amount of that hardware in the 2008 Beijing Games. There, he set the record with eight first-place medals in a single Olympics when he took home first place honors individually in the 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 200 individual medley and 400 individual medley, and was part of winning relays in the 4×100 freestyle, 4×200 freestyle and 4×100 medley. Over his accomplished career, he set 39 world records, four of which remain unbeaten to this day. 





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