It might be time to stop comparing Michael Phelps to the athletes of today. The elite American swimming phenom is on a planet of his own.
And following what has already been a stunning Olympic performance during the 2016 games in Rio, Phelps has etched his name into the record books. It’s a record book that dates back to Leonidas of Rhodes some 2,168 years ago.
You read that right. It’s now time to start comparing Phelps to athletes that performed prior to the common era.
Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky did the research and found some absolutely stunning information regarding Phelps’ current run and the possibility of him making history in the coming week.
Following his win in the 200m butterfly on Tuesday, Phelps has now earned 12 individual gold medals to go with the nine team golds during his Olympic career.
According to multiple historians, those 12 individual wins has him tied with Leonidas of Rhodes for the most in Olympic history.
Leonidas, a sprinter during his time, won his last gold at the 157th Olympiad back in 152 BCE.
So next time you decide that it makes sense to compare Phelps to the Williams’ sisters or other great athletes of our day, make sure to take a step back and realize exactly what he’s accomplishing right now.
Phelps is literally on the verge of breaking a record on the world stage that has existed longer than Jesus Christ himself.