On this day in 2008: Michael Phelps breaks Mark Spitz’s Olympic record


Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal at the Beijing Olympics on this day in 2008, breaking Mark Spitz’s record for wins in a single game.

Phelps was part of the US team that won the 4x100m medley relay, meaning he had won gold in all eight events he competed in.

The United States finished third, behind Australia and Japan, as Phelps dunked for the third leg of the medley, but after completing his 100-meter butterfly, he gave teammate Jason Lezak a half-second lead and set them up for the world record .

Michael Phelps, center, with gold in the men’s 100m butterfly (Gareth Copley/PA)

(PA Archive)

It was the seventh of his eight gold medals with a world record, the only exception being the 100m butterfly.

Spitz previously held the singles game record when he swept the board with seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

“Records are always made to be broken,” Phelps said after the race. “Anyone can do anything they set their mind to.”

Michael Phelps continued his success in London 2012 (Mike Egerton/PA)

(PA Archive)

Phelps, who had won six Olympic titles at the Athens 2004 Games, would win another four gold medals in London 2012.

He then announced his retirement, but reversed that decision in 2014 and went on to win five more gold medals in Rio 2016, making him the most successful singles player by a fourth game.

When he retired for the second and final time, he did so with 28 Olympic medals, including 23 gold, a record from more than 161 nations. On this day in 2008: Michael Phelps breaks Mark Spitz’s Olympic record

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