- (Photo: Reuters/Michael Dalder)
Michael Phelps has set the record for winning more Olympic medals than any other Olympian in history; earning the silver in the 200-meter butterfly, and gold in the 4x200 freestyle relay.
The 200-meter butterfly silver earned the American swimmer his 18th Olympic medal, and put Phelps level with Larisa Latynina- a Ukrainian gymnast who won her last medal in 1964.
Then, further wowing fans watching around the world, Phelps earned yet another medal during the 200-meter freestyle relay race about an hour later; fittingly it was gold. The win marked Phelps' 19th Olympic medal.
"I thank those guys for helping me to get to this moment," said the 27-year-old, according to Reuters. The 4x200 relay team consisted of Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, and Ricky Berens.
"I started smiling with about 20 meters to go," Phelps said after the win. "That's the first time I've ever done that."
France won the silver, while China took the bronze medal.
Latynina, who watched poolside Tuesday ready to congratulate Phelps, had held the record for most medals for the past 48 years. Earlier this year, Phelps had the opportunity to meet the former gymnast, now 77-years-old, during a photo shoot in New York.
"It was an honor to meet somebody, such a legend and icon, especially in the Olympic movement," said Phelps, according to the Baltimore Sun. "We were sort of joking around, through a translator. It definitely was pretty cool."
Phelps may still further his incredible record, as he is scheduled to participate in the 200-meter individual medley preliminary heats at 6:06 a.m. EST on Wednesday. If he qualifies, the Olympian will swim the 200-meter individual medley semifinals at 3:43 p.m. EST the same day.
Thursday, Phelps will swim the 100-meter butterfly preliminary heats at 6:14 a.m. EST. If he qualifies, his later events could include the 200-meter individual medley finals, 100-meter butterfly semifinals, and the 100-meter butterfly finals.