The top 10 athletes of the 2000’s….No. 5

December 17, 2009

Even Lebron and Kobe were impressed

While different cities have different tastes, America as a whole generally shows favor to professional sports and college events over say a track and field race or a Bobsled event.  In New York, we care more about Baseball Hot Stove and the health of Sanchez’s knee than (insert random Olympic Figure Skater.)   Nonetheless, the number 5 athlete has been cited by most as the greatest Olympian the world has ever seen, and took the sports world by storm this past decade .  As of August, 2009, this athlete had broken 37 world records and holds the record for most gold medals won at a single Olympics.

Number 5 athlete after the jump!


Michael Phelps has won 16 Olympic medals and has twice equaled the record eight medals of any type at a single Olympics achieved by Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin at the 1980 Moscow Summer Games. His five golds in individual events tied the single Games record set by Eric Heiden in the 1980 Winter Olympics and equaled by Vitaly Scherbo at the 1992 Summer Games. Phelps career Olympic medal total is second only to the 18 Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina won over three Olympics, including nine gold.

Phelps’s international titles and record-breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and American Swimmer of the Year Award in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. He has won a total of fifty-four career medals thus far in major international competition, forty-five gold, seven silver, and two bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships. His unprecedented Olympic success in 2008 earned Phelps Sports Illustrated magazine’s Sportsman of the Year award. 

With 37 world records (29 individual, 8 relay), Phelps has set more records than any other swimmer, surpassing Mark Spitz’s previous record of 33 world records (26 individual, 7 relay). All of the records were set in a long course (50 meter) pool and all were obtained in the 2000’s.  Undoubtedly, Phelps has been the most dominant Olympic athlete of the past ten years. While competing in just two Olympics, he has earned 14 gold and two bronze medals. His eight gold medals in Beijing was not just a record, but was an amazing athletic feat that we won’t likely see again.

Just ask Kobe Bryant….

“It’s amazing, man.  Michael Phelps is one of a kind, something we will never see again.  I’m just happy I was able to witness his achievements in person.  I’ll never forget it”


Honorable mention:

Enter Sandman.   When it comes to domination, few can say they pound their competition more than the great Mariano Rivera.  In my opinion, Rivera was the main component to the Yankees success this decade.  No other team had a closer near the level of Rivera, a pitcher who appeared in 8 All-Star games and won 4 Rolaids Relief Reliever awards.  Furthermore, his ERA in the Post-Season this decade was a miniscule 0.84.  WOW….even as a Mets fan, I have to give respect.   Certainly only pitching 1 inning a game on most occasions hurt Rivera with regards to making this list, but not many can match his importance to a team. 



One comment

  1. […] No. 5- Michael Phelps […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: