One of the world’s most admired athletes and the most decorated Olympian of all time, Phelps competed in his first Olympics at the age of 15. He went on to win medals at the Olympic Games in Athens, Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro, accumulating a total of 28 medals – 23 of them gold. He is the first American male swimmer to earn a spot on five Olympic teams and at the 2016 Olympic Games, he became the oldest individual gold medalist in Olympic swimming history.
In addition to his feats in the pool, in 2008 Phelps used his $1 million sponsor’s bonus to set up the Michael Phelps Foundation which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles. In 2010, the Michael Phelps Foundation, the Michael Phelps Swim School and KidsHealth.org developed the “im” program for Boys & Girls Club members. The im program teaches children the importance of being active and healthy, with a focus on the sport of swimming. It also promotes the value of planning and goal-setting. Since his retirement from competitive swimming, Phelps has also been active in raising awareness of and promoting mental health.