Phelps collects 18th gold medal in final race
As if 22 medal ceremonies over the last three Olympics weren't enough, Michael Phelps was summoned back to the pool deck for one more accolade.
This time, he received a trophy rather than a medal, an award that sought to sum up a career like no other.
"To Michael Phelps," it said, "the greatest Olympic athlete of all time."
Too bad it was silver. Gold was the only color for this guy.
In a final race that was more a coronation than a contest, Phelps headed into retirement the only way imaginable with an 18th gold medal.
Reclaiming the lead with his trademark butterfly stroke, the one seen in his Olympic debut as a 15-year-old in Sydney a dozen years ago, he capped off a mind-boggling career with a victory in the 4x100-meter medley relay yesterday.
"I've been able to do everything that I wanted," Phelps said.
When it was done, he hugged his teammates – Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian -- before heading off the deck for the final time in his hip-hugging swimsuit.
He waved to the crowd and smiled, clearly at peace with his decision to call it a career. And what a career it was!
"I was able to really put the final cherry on top tonight, put all the whipped cream I wanted and sprinkles. I was able to top off the sundae," Phelps said. "It's been a great career. It's been a great journey. I can't be any more happy than I am."
Phelps retires with twice as many golds as any other Olympian, and his total of 22 medals is easily the best mark, too.
He can be quite proud of his final Olympics as well, even though there were times he had trouble staying motivated after winning a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games four years ago.
- Fixing probe now reaches Bollywood, son of Dara Singh held
- BCCI cashes Pune guarantee, Sahara walks out of IPL
- 'Sree spent Rs 1.95L on clothes, bought friend BlackBerry'
- Delhi firm with MoD as client is linked to Pak cyberattacks
- After Infosys, iGATE sacks Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct
- 2 weeks after harassment, Haryana schoolgirls return, cops in tow