Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympian ever. No athlete, in any sport, can boast of 23 gold medals, the US swimmer’s world record haul over four Olympic Games. Yet, Phelps began, as a precocious 15-year-old rookie at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, without a medal. From the next year, he started setting world records. By the time the 2004 Games came around, Phelps had already broken four world records. No surprise then, when he went on to win six golds at the Olympics in Athens, firmly announcing his arrival as one of the greatest swimmers in the history of the sport. Four years later, at the Beijing Olympics, he bettered that tally with eight golds, breaking Mark Spitz’s 1972 record of seven top-place finishes in a single edition.
Yet, the journey has never been easy for Phelps. He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at a young age; at the end of his career, he also openly began speaking about and sharing his experience with depression. Now Phelps, an ambassador for his sport, works to build awareness about mental health issues.
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