[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 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, 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.