The 27-year-old Phelps, in what he claims will be his final Olympic games, got off to a slow start in London with a missed opportunity at gold in the 400-meter individual medley — to none other than USA teammate Ryan Lochte — as well as a split-second loss in the 200-meter fly. But on Friday, it was all Phelps — yet again.
Phelps blew away the field in his final individual event as an Olympian, winning the 100-meter fly for a third consecutive Olympics. The gold gave Phelps his fourth in the 2012 Olympics, which makes that 17 golds and a total of 21 medals in his Olympic career.
With all these medals now safely tucked into Phelps' sock drawer — where he claims to keep them — the shine of them all may be far more than that of any other Olympic athlete in history.
He's been utterly impressive since his initial appearance as a wide-eyed 15-year-old down in Sydney back in 2000. But he's become even more dominant over his past two Olympics, which only further cements his place in history.
So, while there have been many, many all-time greats throughout the 116 years of Olympic history, do you believe that Phelps is the greatest?
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