“I thrive on pressure situations. They only up my game.” (hear it)
It was close, but Michael Phelps won his record 8th gold medal surpassing Mark Spitz’s 36-year-old Olympic record. The American Mens 4 x 100 meter medley relay team pulled out the victory that made Michael Phelps the undisputed Olympic champion of champions.
For the second time in these Olympics, Jason Lezak anchored the team and brought home the gold. This time holding off a surging Team Australia.
The Americans won in world record time of 3:29.84.
A clearly fatigued Phelps was humble in describing this accomplishment, but his teammate Brendan Hansen was not shy in declaring Phelps’ accomplishment the greatest in sports. Hansen said, “What the man to my right accomplished is the biggest thing in sports general. It’s bigger than the Tour de France. It’s bigger than a pressure putt at the U.S. Open.”
Five-time Olympic gold medalist Aaron Piersol said, “My hat’s off this guy for this accomplishment.”
Phelps told NBC’s Bob Costas, “I’m at a loss for words. This was everything that I wanted to do and everything I dreamed of. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Costas asked, “You’re a bit like Michael Jordan in this respect. Jordan would extract motivation from any situation. He would even somehow perceive a slight from an intended compliment. So whether it’s (Ian) Thorpe, or it’s (Milorad) Cavic, or Alain Bernard. If it’s something real or imagined that can get under your skin you use it?
Phelps replied, “Oh yeah. I said yesterday I welcome any comments. All they do is fire me up. I love when people say that somebody can’t do something. You want to go out there and prove it that much more.”
Tonight Phelps proved it for now and all time. He finishes this Olympics with 8 gold medals, seven world records, and one Olympic record. He set a goal four years ago to come and dominate these games. He worked towards that goal for four years. Tonight it all came true.
He is an inspiration to us all.
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