The fittest human being in documented history signed off with 22 Olympic medals (18 gold) in London surpassing Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina's long-standing record of 18 career medals. Michael Phelps, after striking eight gold in Beijing, got off to a slow start at the London Games but reminded everyone why he is the greatest swimmer of all time with four gold and two silvers. "I couldn't ask to finish on a better note. I have done everything I wanted to do. I am very happy," the swimming sensation said.
The most decorated Olympian – and probably the best ever - did not set any world records this time around as he did in Beijing four years ago, but still stole the show after concluding his record-breaking career. And after breaking 36 world records, 16 Olympic records, and 26 world titles we can even forgive Michael for peeing in the pool once in a while. His long-time coach Bob Bowman said that from the moment he met Phelps he knew he had discovered a once-in-a-lifetime swimmer every coach dreams about.
Phelps partied hard after his Beijing Games high, packed in nearly seven kilograms and even contemplated retirement after newspapers published photographs of him inhaling from a marijuana pipe. He was suspended for three months. The slide at the 2011 world championships where he was outsmarted by Ryan Lochte provided the jolt he needed, and Phelps came back strong, determined to take the centre-stage in London. Salute!