The title of the fastest swimmer can’t be given out easily because there are many different types of swimming styles, but if we need to pick one it would definitely be Michael Phelps. He is an American competitive swimmer that sadly retired in 2016 after Rio Olympics. The reason why he retired is most likely his age (31) but in one statement he said it is because he wants to move forward into a new chapter of his life. He is the holder of many records one of them is for Olympic gold medals total of 23. He also has the title of most successful athlete of the games. The one he got 2016 was his fourth one in a row.
Phelps was born on June 30, 1985, in Baltimore, Maryland. His parents have three children and he was the youngest of them. The first time he was introduced to swimming was at age of 7 mostly because of the influence of his mother and sisters. His mom wanted him to learn how to swim, he never thought he would fall in love with the sport. At the age of 10, he held a national record in the 100-m butterfly in his age group. After that, he just started to collect and break records whenever he competed.
Entering the Olympics
This was a huge step for Michael Phelps, but he was improving rapidly and he managed to qualify for the 2000 Summer Olympics. He was only 15 years at the time and that made him the youngest male to make into the U.S. Olympic swimming team. This being his first big competition he did not win a medal, but he places fifth in the finals of 200 m butterfly.
In 2001 at the world Championships that was held in Japan, Michael was the youngest male ever that set a swimming world record. He was able to broke the 200-m butterfly world record at the age of 15. Each time he would compete at Olympics or the World Championship he would come home with at least 5 gold medals.
That was the start of his professional swimming career after that he just kept improving his skill and breaking more records. Some research showed that Phelps has set more world records than any other swimmer. He officially held 39 world records of which 29 are individual and 10 are a relay. His physique is perfect for swimming, he has a large arm span of almost 7 feet and his ankles are able to extend more than a regular person which is giving him the advantage to whip his feet like fins to achieve maximum thrust in the water.
After the 2012 Olympics, he decided that he want to retire and that he don’t want to do anything with the sport, but then in 2014 he made a comeback. Sadly, he didn’t stay for long in 2016 after Rio Olympics he announced once more that he will be retiring.