Michael Phelps: 2008 Sportsman of the Year

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps

The 23-year-old American from Baltimore, Maryland won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China. He became the first person to win that many gold medals in any Olympic sport ever.

Phelps won gold in the 400-meter individual medley, 200-meter freestyle, 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter butterfly, the 4x100-meter freestyle, 4x200-meter freestyle and 4x100-meter medley.

“Dream as big as you can dream, and anything is possible,” says Phelps.

"To this day I'm not sure the magnitude of what happened over there has hit me.”

Maybe that will change when he sees himself plastered all over the most famous magazine in all of sports.

“Michael Phelps as the 2008 Sportsman of the Year was the easiest choice I have made," says Sports Illustrated Editor Terry McDonell. "Look at what he did in Beijing last summer. I was there. I saw him race after race, win again and again - we all saw that. And then to know him now -- it is so obvious that he changed not only swimming, but also the entire Olympic landscape."

By being named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Phelps becomes the first swimmer ever to achieve the honor. Other athletes who have gotten the award in the last 55 years include golfer Tiger Woods, boxer Muhammad Ali, cyclist Lance Armstrong and basketball player Michael Jordan.

Nicknamed “the Baltimore Bullet” when he was a kid, Phelps was dubbed “the Flying Fish” by the Chinese during his historic accomplishment.

All of his success has us wondering, is Phelps a real life aquaman? Well at 6’4” and 185 pounds he’s definitely more shark than guppy but considering how fast he swims, he definitely has to be at least part fish.

“He’s a water creature,” says his coach Bob Bowman. “You don’t want him on land.”

His competitors don’t quite know what to make of Phelps. "He may be human but he's from a different planet," says Russian swimmer Alexander Sukhorukov. "A different galaxy."

Related Stories:


readers voted!



mr.daniel wrote:

he is a great man.yeah!
commented: Tue Sep 04, 2012


allen wrote:

Wow, this is a pretty old story about his 2008 success, but it is still relevant in 2012 based on what he did at the London Olympics.
commented: Tue Sep 04, 2012


Rocky2245 wrote:

Great Man!
commented: Tue Sep 04, 2012

there are 4 more comments

Please login or register to add comments

like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like it!

latest videos


Is Michael Phelps the best Olympian ever?

  • Yes! Nobody elese stands a chance!
  • No! Carl Lewis is.
  • Not sure, that is a tough call!
  • Who cares!

related stories

Micro_a m
The Olympics only happen every 4 years, so it's pretty exciting to watch all the best of the best...
Micro_d micro
It’s the World Series! Well of course not for baseball… but now there is a World Series of Diving...
Michael Phelps makes history by winning 19 Olympic medals by swimming in 4 Olympics.
Lisa Leslie and the Los Angeles Sparks are ready for another season of b-ball actio...

Sports in the forums

Patriots for life :)
reply about 2 hours
Houston Dynamo
reply about 6 hours
Messi's better naturally but Ronaldo has been trained so I say Messi
reply about 6 hours
As u can tell from my profile pic Arsenal
reply about 6 hours
My position is RM and I hav 2 sit quite deep but my starting position is quite high the I move back. The highest I go is about the middle of the pitch :p :p :p
reply about 6 hours

play online games


Goodgame Empire is a great strategy title by Goodgame Studios. Build your own ca...


Your dragon must return to guard the treasure! Help it gather lost coins and avo...


Shoot blobs with different properties to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be r...


Candy's got her candies into a terrible mess, can you help her to sort them out?


A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...


Bloons 2 is here! A worthy and awesome sequel at last to our original Bloons gam...


Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...


Join the pet-pampering party with your own customized critter!