Beijing: Phelps, 23, swam the third leg in the men’s 400-meter medley relay and then cheered from the pool deck at the Water Cube as teammate Jason Lezak finished off the race for the U.S. in world record time.
The U.S. relay victory capped nine days of swimming competition that produced 25 world records. Phelps reached two gold medal pinnacles in Beijing, surpassing the previous career record of nine and the 1972 performance of Spitz, which many Olympic historians considered the ultimate individual Olympic achievement. Phelps now has 14 career gold medals.
“I literally wanted to do something that no one’s ever done before in this sport,” Phelps told reporters. “Without the help of my teammates it wouldn’t have been possible. We all came together as one unit.”
American swimmers won a meet-high total of 31 medals in Beijing, including 12 golds. The U.S. has 17 gold medals in total, second to host China, which has 27. The U.S. leads China 57-49 in the total medal standings.