OLYMPIC GAMES | SWIMMING

When did Michael Phelps retire? How many medals did he win?

Almost five years ago, the American, the greatest Olympian ever, stepped out of the pool after breaking all records. We take a look at his accomplishments.

When did Michael Phelps retire? How many medals did he win?

The Tokyo Olympic Games are finally with us and the United States won’t have the most decorated Olympian ever, Michael Phelps, in their ranks for the first time since 2000.

Now Phelps remains a mentor for the next generation of swimmers. The ‘Baltimore Bullet’ is keen for the younger swimmers to perform well in the Olympic Games.

Phelps initially competed at the US trials as a 15-year-old, becoming the youngest male swimmer to make a US Olympic team in 68 years.

Rio 2016: the legend Phelps says goodbye

Five golds and a silver. That was Phelps’ final signature to conclude an amazing career at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

In his final race, besides winning gold, he did it with a group of younger teammates he led to one of the great team swimming performances in Olympic history.

It was the perfect way to say goodbye. Rio was Phelps’ motivation to overcome all the problems he had after the London Games. That’s when he had to deal with figuring out how to live a life without the thing that made him someone. After having issues with alcohol, he focused on a new goal: ending his career the right way in Rio.

Before that, Phelps had won eight medals at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, eight medals again (all gold) in Beijing in 2008 and six in London in 2012, for a total of 28 medals (23 gold).

But it was his performance in Beijing that took swimming to previously unimaginable heights, turning it into primetime, must-see television.

That year, the swimming finals at the Olympics were moved to the morning in China so they could be shown on primetime TV the previous evening in the United States.

Now, when asked whether he misses the competition, Phelps said he expects to enjoy it in a different way. “It’s weird. But hopefully relaxing. I think it will be good to watch it with the whole family. During a big meet, I always feel like I’m on high alert, super tense, and this should be more relaxing”, he admitted.