Event: Men's Swimming
Olympic History: In a word: spectacular. Even though he didn't win a medal in his first Olympics, the 2000 Sydney Games, he still made a splash by being, at 15, the youngest male swimmer to compete for the U.S. team in 68 years. Since then, in both Athens and Beijing, he's tied the Olympic record for most medals in a single Games: eight. In Beijing, those eight medals were all gold, an unprecedented feat that shattered Mark Spitz's 38-year record of seven golds in one Olympics.
Why We're Obsessed: Phelps, 27, hasn't just rewritten Olympic history. He's done so with style. Witness his nail-biting victory in the 2008 100 meter butterfly, in which he snatched the gold by a mere 1/100th of a second.
Fun Fact: The Baltimore Bullet, as he's called after his hometown, needs to win only three medals of any kind in London to be the greatest all-time Olympic medal holder. Christian Blauvelt
Image Credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
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