At the 1972 Munich Olympics, American swimming champion Mark Spitz won seven gold medals with seven world records. It was the highest number of gold medals won by an athlete in a single Olympics at 36 years. However, Spitz’s Olympic record was broken at the 2008 Olympics by a native swimmer. Michael Phelps won seven world records and one Olympic record with 8 gold medals writing his name in the Olympics’ history.
200m Free Style
Phelps had to settle for a bronze medal when Australian Ian Thorpe won the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. That’s why Phelps entered the race to win this event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Phelps easily won the preliminary round but finished third in the second semi-final. But in the final, returned to his usual rhythm and won the gold medal, setting a new world record.
When Phelps competed in the 100m butterfly event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, world record holder Ian Crocker also competed. At the end of the first round, which started in such an environment, the Serbian athlete Milorad Čavić set a new Olympic record. In the semi-finals, he made the challenge again. As expected, was challenged by Čavić in the final, but Phelps won the gold medal, setting a new Olympic record. When Phelps finished the event in 50.58 seconds, Čavić, who clocked 50.59 seconds, won the silver medal. With this victory, Phelps became the first athlete to win two consecutive Olympics in this event.
One of Phelps’ favorite events was the 200m butterfly. He was lucky enough to be the world record holder in this event, even at the start of the Olympics. As a result, Phelps went on to win the final without any significant challenge from any of the players. Phelps quickly reached the final, breaking his world record in the final and winning the gold medal.
200m Medley Individual
In the medley event, the competitor must finish the 200 meters using all four races. In the first 50m butterfly, second 50m backstroke, third 50m breaststroke, and finishes in freestyle. Therefore, to win a medal the athlete must swim well in all four styles. When entering the Beijing Olympics, the world and the Olympic record had been set in front of Phelps’ name. Phelps won the event in 2008 with 1: 54.23 minutes, setting a new world record.
400m Medley Individual
In 400m Medley individual, a competitor has to swim 100 meters using all four styles. Phelps, who set world and Olympic records at the start of the event, set a new world record with 4: 03.84 minutes, winning the gold medal. There was a difference of more than 2 seconds between Phelps and the Hungarian silver medalist.
100m 4×4 Freestyle Relay
The American team won the bronze medal in this event at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The last time they have won the event was at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. France and Australia were the two teams that posed the United States’ challenge in this event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Australia led the way in the first 100 meters of the event’s final event, which was very intense. Eamon Sullivan competed in the first 100 meters for Australia. But by the end of the second 100 meters, France was second as the Americans took the lead. In the third 100 meters, American Jones Clocks spent 47.65 seconds, while Frenchman Bousquet clocked 46.63 seconds, giving France the lead at the end of the 300 meters.
In the final 100m, world record holder Alain Bernard was to compete in the 100m freestyle for France, while Jason Lezak was scheduled to represent the United States. As a result, many thought France would win the gold medal, but in the final 100 meters, Lezak finished the event with a world record timing 0.67 seconds ahead of Bernard. The United States won the gold medal 0.08 seconds ahead of France.
200m 4×4 Freestyle Relay
Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Peter Vanderkaay were all three great players, so the other teams were not strong enough to challenge the Americans. That’s why America was ahead of this event from the beginning. The Americans easily won the gold medal in 6: 58.56 minutes thanks to Phelps’ successful start in the first 200 meters. The Americans then broke the world record which set by them in 2007 differentiating four seconds.
100mx4 Medley Relay
In the medley relay, the American team competed that day had Phelps, a gold medalist in the 100m butterfly, and Aaron Peirsol, a gold medalist in the 100m backstroke. In addition to them, teammate Jason Lezak won the bronze medal in the 100m freestyle. But Brendan Hanson, who swam the 100m breaststroke for their team, was not among those performers in those days.
At the end of the first 100 meters of the race, the United States took the lead because of Aaron Peirsol’s brilliant performance. But in the breaststroke, world record holder Kozuki Kitajima took Japan ahead with superior performance. But then Phelps, who had shown his usual skill in the butterfly 100m, turned the advantage of the race towards America. Phelps won the 8th gold medal, ending the race with a world record, and Lezak contributed him to obtain the gold.