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The Success Story of Michael Phelps- The Most Successful Olympian Ever

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps (Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the motivational success story of Michael Phelps.
He won the most number of Olympic medals in the history and is the greatest swimmer of all time.
Michael Phelps is an American retired swimmer and the most successful Olympian of all time.
His net worth during the year 2019 is around 55 million dollars.
This story emphasises the importance of discipline, commitment, dedication, self-confidence, focus and consistency.
This is the biography of Michael Phelps.


Michael Fred Phelps II (Michael Phelps) was born on June 30, 1985 to Michael Fred Phelps and Deborah Phelps in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.
At the age of seven, he was introduced to swimming.
Unfortunately, Phelps faced numerous problems in his childhood.
When he was just nine years old, his much beloved parents got divorced and this affected him negatively.
Phelps found respite in swimming.
He also suffered from ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), a chronic condition in which one suffers from attention difficulty and hyperactivity.
Thankfully, Phelps received the much needed support from his mother, Deborah Phelps and his swimming coach, Bob Bowman.
Bob Bowman tirelessly motivated him by telling him that he can create history in swimming by breaking all the pre-existing world records.
Eventually, Phelps developed a great interest in swimming by which he broke national records for his age group in swimming (100-meter butterfly) at a young age of 10 years.
At the age of 15, he got qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics breaking the 68 year old record to become the youngest male to get qualified for U.S. Olympic swim team, thanks to his rapid advancement in swimming.
In his first Olympics, even though Phelps made the finals, he failed to win any medal.

Creating Olympic records-

At the age of 19, Phelps created several world records in the Olympics held in Athens, Greece.
He won the most number of medals in Olympic Summer Games held during the years 2004 (at Athens), 2008 (at Beijing), 2012 (at London) and 2016 (at Rio).
Phelps won a total of 28 Olympics medals in just four Olympics and this made him the most decorated Olympian of all time.

Breaking the 36 years old world record-

Mark Spitz created a world record by winning seven gold medals in all swimming formats in 1972 Summer Olympics held at Munich, West Germany.
Phelps publically announced that he will break the world record created by Mark Spitz.
Many people including Ian Thorpe, an Australian retired swimmer opined that it was almost impossible for him to break the Mark Spitz’s world record.
Phelps used these negative comments to fuel-up his motivation and trained hard to improve his performance.
Since his childhood, he had an open mind and great imagination by which he dreamt to achieve the unachievable and become the greatest of all time.
Phelps knew that he needed to practice very hard to break the challenging world record created by Mark Spitz.
For creating the world record, Mark Spitz trained eight hours daily for four years.
So, Phelps trained even hard twelve hours daily for four years.

Injuries could not stop him-

Unfortunately, Phelps suffered an injury in the year 2007 when he slipped and fell, this fractured his right wrist.
The doctors advised him to not to participate in the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
So, because of the fracture, Phelps could not practice swimming for the very important Beijing Olympics to be held in the year 2008.
As he previously announced that he will win eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, he became upset upon realising that he might not win them because of his wrist injury.
During this time, Phelps decided to train with his legs without using his hands.
Thanks to this novel practice, his legs strengthened to a great extent which helped him to win many gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.

The most challenging part-

In the middle of the 200-meter butterfly, Phelps’s goggles cracked and got filled up with water.
This was the most challenging event for him in Beijing Olympics.
As Phelps was in the middle of the event, he could not change his damaged goggles and he also knew that this is not the right time for him to make any excuses, as this event was of paramount importance to realise his dream of winning eight gold medals.
Although Phelps was blinded for the next hundred meters with water accumulating in his goggles, he did not abandon the race in the middle and kept moving forward with a great speed.
He was very confident that he will definitely win the race because he practised very hard for this day.
After completing the race, Phelps lifted his neck to see his rank.
His happiness knew no bounds when he saw WR (World Record) besides his name.
By this victory, his long cherished dream of winning eight gold medals got realised and Phelps broke the 36 years old record of Mark Spitz by winning eight gold medals.
He also earned Sportsman of the Year award by Sports Illustrated magazine after winning eight gold medals during the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Thanks to his astounding achievements, Phelps proved his doubters wrong.
He did not stop after breaking the other’s records in swimming and went on to break his own records.
Phelps’s powerful attitude and burning desire made him one of the most successful athletes in the world.

Maintaining focus-

Before participating in any event, to maintain focus, Phelps used to listen to music by wearing headphones.
This unwavering focus greatly helped him to win many matches.
Additionally,  Phelps used to give himself many positive affirmations.
In the year 2012, he retired at the age of 27.
Phelps was greatly inspired by the other great sportspersons like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods.
He began the next chapter of his life when he revoked his retirement in the year 2014 and restarted his winning saga by winning six gold and two bronze medals.
Phelps is the only person in the world to win 23 gold medals in just 4 Olympics.
He was very successful in his sport because he religiously and consistently practised swimming even on the weekends, Sundays and on holidays, without taking a single break for 12 hours per day.
Phelps is the most decorated Olympian athlete of all time and holds the all-time record for most Olympic gold medals.
He earned the title of World Swimmer of the Year, by the American-based Swimming World seven times, thanks to his record breaking performance and his international titles.

Realising his childhood dream-

Phelps was greatly influenced by his elder sisters, Hilary Phelps and Whitney Phelps.
Both Hilary Phelps and Whitney Phelps used to travel nationally and internationally to participate in swimming competitions and return home with autographs.
He was very inspired by them and longed to earn fame and travel the world much like his elder sisters.
Since his childhood, Phelps longed to become an Olympic gold medallist and break all the pre-existing records in swimming.
He constantly thought about these goals every single day which provided him the much needed motivation to practise swimming week after week and year after year until he realised his goals of becoming an Olympic gold medallist and creating new world records in swimming.
So, if we want to accomplish anything in our lives, the first and foremost step would be to dream about our goals.

Gaining an edge-

Phelps was a very dominant player in the swimming pool because he trained hard seven days a week and 365 days a year without fail which allowed him to participate in one extra training session per week.
This gave him an extra of 52 days of practice per year by which he gained an edge over his competitors.
This strenuous training allowed Michael Phelps to break many world records in swimming.
He practised in this manner for five long years without even missing a single day of work out.
Because Phelps knew that if a sportsperson misses a single day of work out, it takes him two days to revert back to his usual position.
This throws a light on his dedication.

The born swimmer-

Phelps was a born swimmer because his body was very suitable for swimming.
His height of 6 feet 4 inches and arms span of 6 feet 7 inches greatly helped him to propel forward in water and his relatively short legs reduced the resistance in water.
Phelps won a total of 83 medals in his career, which include 28 Olympic medals.
And out of those 28 Olympic medals, 23 are gold medals.
He used to consume a whopping 12000 calories per day whereas a normal person usually consumes around 2500 calories per day.
Phelps retired for the second time on August 12, 2016 and after retirement he turned into an entrepreneur.

Michael Phelps Foundation–

In the year 2008, Phelps established Michael Phelps Foundation to teach the art of swimming to the world and promote healthier lifestyles.
He invested the money he earned as bonus in his foundation.

Secret of success-

If you badly want to achieve your goals, then you must definitely make some sacrifices along the way.
Phelps realised his dreams only because he made many sacrifices since his childhood.
He even sacrificed the holidays for practising swimming.

The importance of mental strength-

Phelps was put into uncomfortable situations many times and he pushed through them with the help of his mental strength.
This mental strength helped him to overcome the pain of rigorous and harsh training sessions.
The habit of thinking positively and creating positive affirmations also helped Michael Phelps to develop the mental strength.
This explains the role of mental strength in becoming successful.

The importance of routine-

In order to achieve success, establishing a routine is of paramount importance.
Many of us perform or work towards our goals only when we are happy and motivated but we stop working when we are unhappy or upset.
But to become successful, we should also work when we are unhappy and not in our great state of mind.
Achievers do not make excuses to escape from their work and they even perform when they are uncomfortable.
Nobody can stay motivated for ever because there will be some occasions which can demotivate us.
So, to overcome the negative effects of demotivation affecting our work, we should establish a robust routine, by which we can work in almost any situation.
Phelps became one of the most successful swimmers in the world because he executed a well-planned routine which helped him to overcome the laziness and hardships.
So, if you are struggling to achieve your goals, then you should chalk out a daily routine for yourself.
And once you have planned the routine, you must religiously follow the routine by which you can achieve your goals.
The life story of Phelps teaches us a very important lesson that nothing is impossible when you consistently work towards your dreams.
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