Following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Michael Phelps called it quits on his historic 16-year international swimming career where he earned an astounding 28 Olympic medals – 10 more than anyone else in history.
Phelps has surpassed every medal-record there is at the Olympic Games. He earned the most golds at one edition of the games in 2008 where he was a perfect eight for eight, he has the most overall medals, he has the most overall golds, and he has the most overall golds in individual events.
His records make him the most decorated Olympian of all time which begs the question, how much do the greatest Olympians medals weigh? In total, his medals weigh approximately 18 lbs, 17.97 lbs to be exact.
In Athens, Phelps won his first Olympic gold medal by winning the 400m IM. He added to that impressive number by taking home five more golds and two bronzes at that games in order to become the first athlete to ever win eight medals at one Olympic Games. Those eight medals were his first Olympic medals and all weighed 135g, or 0.30 lbs.
Weight of medals: 135g/0.30 lbs
- SIX GOLD: 135g/0.30 lbs –> 810g/1.78 lbs
- TWO BRONZE: 135g/0.30 lbs –> 270g/0.60 lbs
- ATHENS TOTAL: 1080g/2.38 lbs
Beijing was Phelps’ most historic Olympic run where he broke Mark Spitz’s record of earning the most gold medals at one edition of the Olympic Games. Phelps won five individual events and a total of eight gold medals to add to his six from Athens.
Weight of medals: 200g/0.44 lbs
- EIGHT GOLD: 200g/0.44 lbs –> 1600g/3.53 lbs
- BEIJING TOTAL: 1600g/3.53 lbs
Although London was arguably the least significant of his five Olympic runs, it means a lot because it officially established Phelps as the most decorated Olympian of all time. Earning four golds and two silvers there allowed him to move towards a total 18 gold medals and 22 total Olympic medals, passing Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina who had 18 total medals.
Weight of medals: 412g/0.91 lbs
- FOUR GOLD: 412g/0.91 lbs –> 1648g/ 3.63 lbs
- TWO SILVER: 412g/0.91 lbs –> 824g/ 1.82 lbs
- LONDON TOTAL: 2472g/5.45 lbs
Rio 2016 was Phelps’ last Olympic run where he had his third best Olympic showing ever with a total of five gold medals and one silver. Adding to his total 22 Olympic medals and 18 golds from before, Phelps now has a total of 23 golds and 28 total medals. He has 10 more total medals than any other Olympian and 14 more golds than any other Olympian. This run established him as having the most individual gold medals of any Olympian.
Weight of medals: 500g/ 1.10 lbs
- FIVE GOLD: 500g/1.10 lbs –> 2500g/ 5.50 lbs
- ONE SILVER: 500g/1.10 lbs –> 500g/ 1.10 lbs
- RIO TOTAL: 3000g/6.61 lbs
Almost half the weight of his gold medals comes from the Rio Olympic Games where they were the heaviest medals of his career. His five Olympic golds in Rio weigh almost the same as his 14 Olympic golds from both Athens and Beijing combined.
With a total of 18 lbs of Olympic medals, Phelps will now happily retire.