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14 Facts About Michael Phelps That Will Make You Say "Holy Shit"

Twenty-five Olympic medals (and counting!) is really just the beginning.

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7. And he has a heightened ability to recover from physical exertion, which means racing multiple times in a day is NBD.

Tim Wimborne / Reuters

After intense exercise, lactic acid moves into the bloodstream and becomes lactate, making the body's lactate levels high — causing fatigue, which slows you down. The quicker you can get those lactate levels down, the better you'll perform the next time you have to compete. Phelps reportedly produces way less lactate and therefore recovers relatively quickly and is ready to swim strong again sooner than his competitors.

8. He can swim 100 meters in less than 50 seconds.

Usa Today Sports / Reuters

In fact, he holds the world record for the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 49.82. He holds the world record for the 200-meter butterfly, too, with a time of 1:51.51.


10. At age 27 he became the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympics.

Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

It happened in the 2012 Olympics in London when he won gold in the 4x200 freestyle relay, the19th medal of his career and the most of any Olympian ever.


Watch the women’s gymnastics individual all-around final featuring Simone Biles tonight in primetime at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.


Michael Phelps holds world records in the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly. An earlier version of this post misstated the equivalent of these events in terms of laps.