Michael Phelps Wins 19th Medal, Becomes Most Decorated Olympian of All Time

Michael Phelps, who has been called the greatest Olympic swimmer of all time, swum into history this morning, winning an incredible title along with his nineteenth medal: The most decorated Olympian in history.

Phelps swam the last leg of the 4X200m freestyle relay to help the American men win on Tuesday, earning his fifteenth career gold medal, and his first of the London Games.

"I started smiling with about 20 meters to go," Phelps said after the win, via Nicole Auerback of USA Today. "That's the first time I've ever done that."

The win put Phelps over the previous record for career medals set by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, and came just an hour after he suffered a shocking, last-second defeat (by "defeat," we mean a silver medal) in the 200m butterfly to South Africa's Chad le Clos. A win would have made him the first male to earn a gold medal in the same event at three Olympics in a row.



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