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In all, America took home 110 medals from the 2008 Olympic Games—more than any other country! The swimmer responsible for some of that hardware will go down in history as the first athlete to win eight gold medals in one Olympic Games.

Michael Phelps, a 23-year-old from Baltimore, accomplished what many sports commentators said was an impossible feat. He swam in eight finals over nine days and shattered the world record in four of five individual swims.

During some meets, Michael blew competitors out of the water, but a few swims came down to the final second. He won his seventh gold medal by just a hundredth of a second—a fingernail's length! Michael says this race—the 100-meter butterfly—stands out from the rest. "I still have no clue how I got that," he says.

Since becoming the world's most celebrated athlete, Michael says he's been traveling nonstop overseas, but now, he's finally back on American soil. "There's nothing like being back, you know, when you've been away for so long," he says. "When you come back and you see what your country looks like—you miss it so much when you're away."

Michael says he also misses someone special who's waiting for him back home...his English bulldog, Herman. "I have a picture on my computer of him, but I haven't seen him in real life for a few months," he says. "I need to get back home and spend some time with him so he at least remembers me."
FROM: Season Premiere: Welcome Home Team USA's Olympic Stars!
Published on September 08, 2008


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