Olympics

Swimmer Michael Phelps poses with all 28 Olympic medals

No more, no less: the incredible American has 23 golds, three silvers and two bronze.

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Swimmer Michael Phelps poses with all 28 Olympic medals
Simon Bruty Sports Illustrated

The man with the medals

Taking the prestigious place on Sport Ilustrated magazine, record breaking swimmer Michael Phelps poses along with all 28 of the Olympic medals he has won across his career. The spectacular photo session by Simon Bruty culminates in the American standing in only his trunks with his arms held out holding 23 golds, three silver and two bronze medals.

 "No athlete had a 2016 like Michael Phelps", stated Tim Layden, the veteran author who undertook the interview for the magazine. Here is an excerpt::

In late August, Michael and Nicole and Schmitt spread out all 28 of Michael’s medals on their kitchen counter. It was the first time that Phelps had ever looked at all of his medals at once. “No, I can’t process 28,” he would say later, answering a question. “It’s too much.”

But the medals touch him in another way, each a story of its own, intimate and memorable: The first, from the 400 individual medley in Athens, after which he held his mother’s hand through a chain-link fence; the 100 butterfly in Beijing, when he touched out Serbia’s Milorad Cavic by .01 of a second. “I knew he was gliding, and if I took another half-stroke ...” says Phelps. And then his voice trails off. “So many feelings. Happy. Sad. Angry. I never took the time to think back. I just moved on.”

Want to know more about how the photoshoot was put together? Check out the making of: