[Updated at 4:02 p.m. ET Saturday]
– He would be No. 51 in the all-time medal count, tied with Egypt and Portugal with 22 total medals.
– He'd have more Twitter followers (1,000,497) than Fiji has in total population (890,057).
– He'd be making more money than certain entire countries. He is estimated to make $100 million over the course of his lifetime. This is more than twice the estimated GDP of the Tuvalu Islands ($37,470,000).
– He'd be liked on Facebook (5.8 million times) more times than the total number of Internet users in Greece (4,971,000).
- Phelps, born in 1985, would be older than several countries including Namibia, Slovakia, Serbia, Kosovo, and South Sudan.
- Phelps, standing 6-foot-4, would be taller than the average Dutch man (6 feet), considered to be the world’s tallest people.
We say this, of course to highlight the legacy of Phelps, who won his 22nd medal on Saturday, extending his record of most Olympic medals won all-time.
Phelps, who began swimming at age 7 to emulate his sisters, set individual world records 29 times, and he still holds records in six events.
He has wrapped up a career as the most decorated Olympian ever, perhaps the greatest ever. Some commentators will argue the cases of track and field's Carl Lewis, who missed an Olympics because of a U.S. boycott, or distance runner Paavo Nurmi, who won 12 medals. Some might argue for Bjorn Daehlie, the Norwegian cross-country skier. And there's gymnast Larisa Latynina, whose 18 medals are now second all time.
Vote in the poll below if you think Michael Phelps should be considered the greatest Olympian ever. We plan to keep adding to this list so let us know in the comments if you have any similar "if Michael Phelps were a country" comparisons and we'll check them out.
Michael Phelps, US athlete -as great as they come. More success to him.
Getting us laurels.
A large lower jaw, tall, prominent ears, large hands and feet, hallmark of acromegaly....or growth hormone doping! Doping wouldnt be detected if hormones were injected years ago; the bony changes are permanent. Allison Shmitt also falls in the same category.
I found it funny that now that he has CHOKED, and the only medal was a the team event, and now silver is the new gold. Not taking anything aways from his talent, but he is not the best and you know it. He failed from smoking weed to be over rated. he has the numbers, and that is good for him.
I think some swimmers have obviously been doping, though not caught yet. A large lower jaw, tall, prominent ears, large hands and feet, hallmark of acromegaly....or growth hormone doping! Doping wouldnt be detected if hormones were injected years ago; the bony changes are permanent. Allison Shmitt also falls in the same category.
Michael Phelps used Performance-enhancing drugs in 2008 Olypics and nobody raised a question about it. WHY ?
He was caught doping several times but still his medals were not stripped off , WHY ?
Because he is an American ?
Benjamin and Tommy, you two are morons. He looks the same when he was a small child, was he doping out of the womb? There was nothing inconsistent with his times 2008 that put up red flags like China's Shiwen. If anything Phelps looks like he's doing the minimum this time around, like he'd rather be chilling with a bong, no way is he doping.
No one can compare...the greatest Olympian ever was Spartacus!
No, I'm Spatacus!
There can be only one!
No, there is always room for 2....Tupac!!!!
He isn't a true Olympian. He used that cheater suit last time to get medals.
over 90% of the swimmers used those suits at the last Olympics and all serious medal contenders had them. So unless his was a magical one, it did not help him get the medals. Records are a different issue all together. For those people who think he was on performance enhancing drugs, he is one of the most tested athletes in the world, if not the most. It is sad that we cannot be proud or impressed by someone else's achievement, and instead we try to diminish the success of others. Michael Phelps is with out doubt one of the greatest athletes of all times. Don't tear him down just to feel better about yourself.
Not true. I heard his may of had a special coating.
Very well said. Only losers don't acknowledge someone else's amazing achievements.
Very sad for those people.
Yeah. Cheaters that wear special swimsuits are sad. They gotta wear cheater suits to win.
I think you meant he may end up being as great as Greg Looseanus.
Actually only American and Austrailans used those suits. Nobody else.
Where does cheating start? Maybe they should swim in the nude since that speedo is obviously decreasing drag...
Everybody used the suit. Level playing field.
No!!!! I'm Sparticus.
NO, I Am Spartacus.
If he was a country it would be a really smelly one life Nigeria and a monkey from there would get elected president.
Wow your parents must be really proud of the genius they raised!!!
Folks this is what Rush Limbough and Faux News does to the brain.
Was he friendly to you when you met him? M.P. is now, present, the history that you can see in the making.
I bet he can't beat Jesus in 400
FUNNY!!!! on all your posts!!!!
He would also have taken more steroids and smoked more marijuana than some counties...
if he was a country all kids could smoke weed, and become a good swimmer.
we get it. some countries are extremely small.
Phelps is nothing compared to Bruce Jenner.
Bruce! are you smoking weed.
He can't beat Romney in flipflopping
I would give 3 to 1 odds and bet the house on Phelps that he would destroy Jesus in the 400. We are talking breaststroke, right?
"Greatest Olypian" ever? We can't dispute he has won many medals, but to be an "Olympian" is more than just winning medals – its about the sport, sportsmanship, and being a role model to others. I personally am not sure Mr. Phelps excels in all of those areas, but I don't know him and that's just my opinion.
For a kid that had ADHD, overcame it, and went on to win 19 medals, hats off to him. Great work, Michael!
Great? Yes. Greatest? No. Swimming is skewed in that there are different ways to swim and multiple events for each; with swimming, it's possible to do things like medal in 8 events in one Olympics. Many athletes don't have the opportunity to compete in multiple similar events. Many athletes don't have the sponsorships to allow them to train full-time.
Phelps is great but not the greatest. As swimming as a sport is available only to the developed countries, not all the countries participate in it at the olympics. I believe track and field is the real test as every country in the world sends athletes. So, i will consider Carl Lewis the greatest.
Are you kidding me, the olympics actually used to take place in the ocean! So you are telling me that all undeveloped countries don't have oceans or lakes that people can train in??? The same undeveloped countried won't have the same resources for track and field either!!!! Ya just like swimming in oceans or lakes you can run on pretty much any land!!! Your argument fails on so many levels!
I agree 100 percent. Plus I heard he might be gay.
What does that have to do with anything?
No Chic-Filet for him.
If he were a country, Penn State would be located there. And probably all the cheaters.
I think he is a cheater
You are just jealous!!! LOL
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