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Michael Phelps Wins 8th Gold Medal

Posted by Fara Kearnes on August 17, 2008 7:20 PM |

michael phelpsWith a little help from his teammates, Michael Phelps made history yesterday at the Water Cube in Beijing winning his eight gold medal at a single Olympics surpassing the mark set by Mark Spitz in 1972.

Phelps barely won number seven by a fingernail Friday and the gold for the 4×100 meter medley relay wasn't exactly in the bag before he even dove in the water to swim the 'fly on the third leg. He smoked his 100 and freestyle teammate Jason Lezak swam the last leg to give the US team the victory.

Phelps nearly did the feat four years ago winning six gold medals in the Athens Games but the 23-year-old needed one more try to break Spitz's record. With this eighth medal, Phelps became the winningest Olympian ever with 14 gold, five more than any other athlete. That's a record that may never be broken.

His teammate, breaststroker Brendan Hansen, told reporters how impressed he was by the cool way Phelps handled the pressure and attention away from the pool.

He told of how Phelps had set a world record in the morning, then would go back to the athletes' village and act like nothing had happened.

"I'd be like, 'Do you realize what you're doing?'" Hansen said. "And he'd be like, 'Man, the pizza is good today.'"

For now, Phelps says it's his intention of returning for the London Games in 2012, where he'll be able to add to his already remarkable record - but will be switching some events to shorter sprints, such as the 100 freestyle, and dropping some grueling longer events like the 400 individual medley.

Congrats to Michael Phelps and his teammates on the great win and making history.

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