Last night, the swimming superstar took home his 22nd Olympic gold medal of his Olympic career. His dominant win in the final of the 200-meter individual medley marked his place in history.
Phelps is the most decorated individual Olympic athlete, ever, with 13 individual gold medals and 26 medals total. He surpassed the record held by the “Baltimore Bullet,” an athlete from ancient Greece. Yes, this record hasn’t been broken in more than 2,000 years.
Leonidas of Rhodes, a runner who competed between 164 and 152 BC, 12 victories were recorded by Philostratus the Athenian and Pausanias, according to the official Olympics website.
And to think, Phelps almost retired after the London Olympics in 2012. The 31-year-old decided to come back to the Olympics after the birth of his son, Boomer. We’re all glad he came back to give us this incredible show during Rio. He still has two more races and could go home with five medals by the end of the competition.
A photo posted by boomer phelps (@boomerrphelps) on
Outside of the Olympic stage, Phelps is busy being a daddy and working with children around the country to share the importance of water safety.
After finding success during the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Phelps created the Michael Phelps Foundation. He teamed up with KidsHealth.org and Michael Phelps Swimming (his personal brand), and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to helps kids feel comfortable in the water.
The organization created its signature program, im, named after the swimmer’s favorite event – the Individual Medley.
Per the website, “im is a water-safety, wellness, and goal-setting program for Boys & Girls Clubs of America members and Special Olympics International athletes.”
It’s helped more than 15,000 members learn water safety and feel comfortable with swimming.
In addition to the im program, the Phelps Foundation also launched the Level Field Fund, which is a grant-giving program funding athletes in need of financial support. Phelps teamed up with fellow Olympians for this fund including Ross Powers, Lenny Krzelburg, Seth Westcott, and Daron Rahlves.
They’re giving athletes, including swimmers, who do not have enough money to get the training and equipment they need a chance to succeed.
I originally learned to swim for water safety, and it eventually changed my life. Which is why this month being National Water Safety month is so important to me. Half a million people drown around the world every year. This is something that we can all help to change!! Learn how you can help at www.michaelphelpsfoundation.org #watersafetymonth
Also, the organization launched Caps for a Cause, which helps raise money for fellow charities supporting athletes. Organizations can apply to receive an authentic Michael Phelps signed swim cap to offer during their silent or live auctions.
Caps for a Cause has raised more than $60,000 for nonprofits.
It’s great to see athletes like Phelps using their tremendous success for good. Stay tuned to GoodCelebrity.com for all the updates on Team USA at the Rio Olympics!