The Legacy of Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps’s career changed many views on swimming, perseverance, and dedication.



Michael Phelps has accomplished much in the sport of swimming.

Melissa Sayadinejad, Columnist

Michael Phelps was an unbelievably talented former American swimmer. Bruin Sports Analytics says that Michael Phelps is the most decorated swimmer of all time, with 28 Olympic medals, 23 of them gold, 27 World Championship gold medals, and 16 Pan Pacific Championships gold medals. Phelps inspired the world with his talent, diligence, and commitment.

Phelps got into the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, at age 15. He swam the 200 meter butterfly, which was said to be his signature event. He attended five Olympic games (2000-2016), and set 39 world records, over the course of his career. Ducksters states that in the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, he won eight gold medals, broke seven world records, and broke eight Olympic and American records. His legacy and accomplishments were groundbreaking to millions of people, but it was never simple work. Phelps never took a day off, trained for hours every day, and showed people the value of commitment. He also showed many that nobody, even himself, is perfect.

North Point Recovery says that when Phelps was only 19 years old, he admitted guilt to his first DUI in 2004. He received a fine, an 18-month probationary period, and a community service mandate. Phelps was detained and charged with another DUI in Maryland, in September of 2014. He was stopped for speeding excessively, (84 mph in a 45 mph zone) and crossing double-lane lines. Phelps failed several conventional field sobriety tests after the stop. Only five months after this, Phelps ended his retirement, and began training for the 2016 Rio Olympics games. In those Olympic games, he won five gold medals, and one silver medal. He showed the world that anyone can turn their life around.

Phelps retired again in 2016, after the Rio Olympics games. He now runs the Michael Phelps Foundation. The MPF aspires for everyone to have quality access and programmatic help including knowing how to swim and being safe in the water. It is led by him and comprises the same support system that helped manage his competitive career, explains the Michael Phelps Foundation. He is as much of a legend outside the water as he is inside, and his bravery outside the pool is equally remarkable. He taught the world that hard work and commitment can change your life. As Michael Phelps says, “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.”