The legend of Michael Phelps

After 16 years, five Olympics and six world championships, Michael Phelps’ career has finally drawn to a close. Or so he insists. But to put his jaw-dropping accomplishments into perspective, you have to dig a bit deeper. Phelps was born with a gift and worked tirelessly to maximize its potential.

“I want to be able to look back and say, ‘I’ve done everything I can, and I was successful,'” Phelps told ESPN before the Olympics. “I don’t want to look back and say I should have done this or that.”

He is without question the greatest swimmer who ever lived, and arguably the greatest athlete of our generation, as well. The latter might be up for debate. What isn’t in question is the utter dominance with which he performed. From a teenage boy to a grown father, it didn’t matter. Here’s a look at just some of the staggering numbers Phelps leaves behind.

The Phelps medal haul

Phelps leaves the pool with a record 23 gold medals in 30 Olympic races. Here is a breakdown of what he won and when:

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