Phelps becomes winningest Olympic athlete ever - 8/13/2008
A daily double. Michael Phelps swam into history as the winningest Olympic athlete ever with his 10th and 11th career gold medals — and five world records in five events at the Beijing Games.
A day after etching his name alongside Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis with gold No. 9, Phelps set a standard all his own when he won the 200-meter butterfly Wednesday morning. An hour later, he swam the leadoff of a runaway victory by the U.S. 800 freestyle relay team, which shattered the old world mark by more than four seconds.
"He is just another person, but maybe from a different planet," said Alexander Sukhorukov, who swam the anchor leg for the second-place Russians.
In his signature stroke, Phelps had a problem with his goggles. But that didn't keep him from touching first in the fly.
No such worries in the relay. Seemingly impervious to fatigue, the gangly, 23-year-old American set a blistering pace of 1 minute, 43.31 seconds that got the Americans rolling toward a winning time of 6:58.56 — the first team ever to break the 7-minute barrier.
After a six-gold performance at the 2004 Athens Games, Phelps needed only five days in Beijing to surpass Spitz, Lewis, Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina and Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi as the winningest Olympian ever.