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Michael Phelps On Track to Set Olympic History
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Michael Phelps

Summary: Tomorrow night will determine if Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps will take the record as the Olympian with the most individual medals.

The Rio de Janeiro Olympics have been great to Michael Phelps so far. The swimming star has reached new Olympic records, tying one that was 2,000 years old and that he may likely break before the week is over.


Phelps won the 200-meter butterfly Tuesday night, placing him in a tie with Leonidas of Rhodes in 152 BC. Phelps now has 12 individual Olympic titles and will have the chance to make it 13 Olympic titles on Thursday night with the 200 individual medley. He has a total of 21 Olympic gold medals, but nine of them are from relays. Relays didn’t exist back in Leonidas’s time – or competitive swimming.

Read Badminton Players Disqualified from Olympics for Throwing Matches.

Leonidas claimed gold in three different races at four straight Olympic Games while in the nude. He claimed the 200 yard stadion race, a 400 yard dialous race, and the hoplitodromos – or hoplite race. This race required runners to wear a helmet, leg armor and carry a shield, totaling about 50 extra pounds of weight, in order to show their strength, speed and endurance. These races were held on the very same day every four years. He won his last three titles at the age of 36, making him appear as if he was an actual Olympic god.

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See Michael Phelps Intends to End His Olympic Career as the All Time Most Medaled Athlete.

Phelps has taken five gold medals in individual events. The events he competes in are spread out over several days and he has sponsors so that he can focus on training and now be forced to have a side-job to earn money. One may argue that there are more competitors than there were back in Leonidas’s time, but it is still easy to believe that he would have been a fierce competitor by today’s standards.

Do you think the Olympic titles that Phelps and Leonidas achieved are equivalent? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about the Olympics, read U.S. Olympic Athletes Face Tax on Medals and Reward Money.



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