We’re counting down the top 10 moments of Michael Phelps’ career, so far. You, our readers, can participate, by voting for number one! Either Tweet or Comment on our Facebook with #phelpstop10lezaked if your number one is the improbable 400 free relay come-from-behind victory in Beijing is your top Phelps moment. Tweet or Facebook #phelpstop10cavic if your favorite is the almost unseeable 100 fly win over Milorad Cavic in Beijing, or Tweet/Comment #phelpstop108golds if your pick is the 400 medley relay, which ran Phelps into the history books as his 8th gold medal.
#4 – Phelps takes first Olympic gold, and it’s a new World Record
Though Phelps was already an international star by 2004, with plenty World Championships golds and world records in his collection, he headed into Athens still relatively unproven on the stage that would become the hallmark of his career – the Olympic Games.
A fifth-place finish as a fresh-faced 15-year-old in 2000 had showed promise of things to come. But would Phelps deliver truly deliver under the immense Olympic pressure, and with the eyes of not just the swimming community but the world upon him?
In his first final at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Phelps answered all questions with a resounding “yes.” He didn’t just win, he demolished the field. It wasn’t just a lifetime-best, it was a new world record. And the cherry on top was a 1-2 finish for the Americans as Erik Vendt came from behind to beat Laszlo Cseh for the silver medal.
That scene was full of iconic moments that will stick in the minds of swim fans for years to come. Between Phelps’s exuberant reaction to his own success and the American sweep and NBC commentator Dan Hicks’ memorable line (“Michael Phelps about ready to get his first Olympic medal – it’s gonna be gold! It’s gonna be a new world record!”), Phelps’s official debut at the top of the Olympic podium is one of those Phelpsian moments that changed the sport entirely.
You can check out video of the race and its historic television commentary above.
#5 – Phelps keeps the 8 for 8 dream alive by winning 200 fly blind in Beijing
#6 – Phelps takes down Ian Crocker at the 2004 Olympics
#7 – Phelps becomes youngest male in 68 years to make U.S. Olympic Team
#8 – Phelps proves he doesn’t need the Super Suit to win-2009 World Championships 100 Fly.
#9 – Phelps Becomes First Male to Three-Peat in Same Event.
#10 – Phelps Becomes the Youngest Male Swimmer to Break a World Record.