We all know him as the most decorated Olympian of all time with the all-time record of 18 gold Olympic medals (including the 2 silver and 2 bronze medals). Yes, I’m talking about the one and only Michael Phelps.

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Michael Fred Phelps II was born on June 30th 1985 in Towson, Maryland. Michael is part English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and German. He has the nickname of  ‘The Baltimore Bullet’ and ‘Flying Fish.’ Michael was 7 years old when he started swimming.

As a child, Michael had two older sisters (Whitney and Hilary), which makes him the youngest child. His father Michael Fred Phelps and his mother Deborah Sue got divorced in 1994. In sixth grade, he was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Along his early life, when he was 10 he had a national record and started to train with his coach Bob Bowman. When Phelps was 15 years old, he qualified to be in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia which made him the youngest male competitor to be on the American swim team in 68 years. In 2012, sadly Michael announced at the London Games, at the age of 27 that he was retiring.

People always ask ‘why is he the most decorated Olympian of all-time?’ One of the reasons is because he holds the most medals. Another is because he won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Games, which holds the records for finishing first the most times at one Olympic Game. He has a total of 77 medals from major international long-course competitions. 61 gold medals, 13 silver medal and 3 bronze medals from the Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Champions. Also, Phelps holds the world record time in 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, the 400-meter individual medley and he was the last one to hold the world record time in 200-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley. Michael took Larisa Latynina’s place (9 gold, 5 silver, 4 bronze medals totaling to 18 medals) of being the most decorated Olympian in 2012 at the London Game.

Michael’s life achievements have stunned the whole world. He has a total of 61 first places in the Olympic Games, World Championships (LC and SC) and Pan Pacific Championships. One of life achievements include starting his own foundation called ‘Michael Phelps Foundation’ which he started after the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. ‘Michael Phelps Foundation’ targets growing on swimming and builds on healthy lifestyle/choices. He traveled across the U.S touring eight cities to inspire boys and girls swim clubs to keep striving for their goal.

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Now you all are probably wondering, what’s the connection between Michael Phelps and I and why did I choose him? One of the main connections is swimming. As you may be able to tell, he lived (and still lives) for swimming and as do I. The reason I chose Michael Phelps is because he inspires me to reach my goal, like he reached his. He is a great eminent person in my life because he influences me to keep chasing after my dreams.

Although I like to think Michael and I don’t have any differences we do. He is a white male from America, while I am an Asian female from Canada. He was successful at such a young age and was qualified to be in the Olympics at the age of 15, while I am one year younger than he was and still probably don’t have a fast enough time to qualify in the Olympics. Michael is also much more wealthy than I am and will ever be. We both live in the same type of society and we live in the same time (although he is older than me).

As for how I personally found him, I started watching him when I was young with my mother, and I realized that he had an incredible talent that I would like to have. Discovering Michael inspired me to start swimming at a very young age much like himself.

My goals for this project are to gain confidence and to work on my public speaking. Also to dig deeper and see what I want to achieve with my love for swimming, hoping to get to my goal with the inspiration that comes from Michael. The fact that I stopped for a couple years and started again, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to direct myself in where I want to be headed with my career in the long run.