US Swimmer Phelps Gets ′Greatest Olympian′ Title | World| Breakings news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 13.08.2008
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US Swimmer Phelps Gets 'Greatest Olympian' Title

Michael Phelps rewrote the Olympic record books on Wednesday, Aug. 13, when he won his 10th and 11th gold medals in another awesome swimming session, beating six more world records.

Michael Phelps, cheering for himself at the Olympics after a win

Is that victory arm tired yet? Phelps celebrates one of his many wins

Phelps beat six more world records in Beijing; the US and China continue to dominate the medals table overall.

Michael Phelps closeup, doing the backstroke

Phelps did the backstroke leg of the 400-meter medley

The hosts won four more golds with success in the women's gymnastics team event, women's weightlifting, men's synchronised diving and women's shooting.

China now has 17 golds, seven ahead of second-placed USA, whose 10 golds include the five Phelps has now won in Beijing.

The American superstar became the all-time leading Olympian in a world record time in the men's 200 meter butterfly and then led the US 4x200 meter relay team into a new dimension in the sport.

His 11th gold medal lifted him two clear atop the all-time list, past Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, Finnish athlete Paavo Nurmi, US swimmer Mark Spitz and US athlete Carl Lewis, who all have nine.

United States' Michael Phelps prepares for a men's 200-meter freestyle heat during the swimming competitions in the National Aquatics Center at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008.

Preparation is everything: Phelps warms up

Phelps said the realization that he had made history left him speechless.

"Growing up, all I wanted to do was become an Olympian. And now to be the leading Olympian. Well, I suppose that's a pretty cool title to have."

Phelps is on track for his target of eight gold medals at a single Olympics, which would beat the record of seven currently held by former US swimmer Mark Spitz.