Michael Phelps

"You dream. You plan. You reach."

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  • Born on June 30, 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland
  • World class swimmer
  • 18 gold medals
  • Youngest American male swimmer to compete in the Olympics in 68 years


Thesis Statement: Michael Phelps' fierce sense of competition, swimmer's physical build, and determination for victory, all led to his success as a world-class swimmer.

Michael Phelps grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. His parents divorced when he was 9, which led him to be very close to his mother (a middle school principal) by the name of Debbie Phelps and both his sisters Hilary and Whitney. Phelps' family had noticed that Michael had tons of energy that he could never get rid of, so they entered Michael into swimming, a sport which both his sisters were very successful in, to calm him down. At first, Michael was afraid to even put his head under the water, but soon he fell in love with it. Whenever Phelps was swimming he felt safe and could focus very well.

Soon Michael Phelps was recognized as a swimmer with great potential. Not only did Phelps have an excellent build for swimming, standing at six foot, three inches, but also hated losing. Phelps met his lifelong coach, Bob Bowman, when he joined the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC). Bowman recognized Phelps' potential and the two started a training plan together. Phelps and Bowman became very close, but Bowman was still very disciplined and had high expectations for Phelps. Due to Phelps' intense training and love for winning, he soon joined the U.S. national swimming at the age of 15. That same year Phelps competed in the 2000 Olympic games in Atlanta. So far, Phelps has won 18 Olympic gold medals.


The events in Michael's childhood shaped him into a hard-worker and made him push himself to his limits. Phelps' sisters inspired him to join swimming and go all the way to the Olympics. His mom also encouraged him to work hard and follow his dreams. Micheal's experiences like his parents divorce taught him how to be close to his family and work hard through tough times. All of this has encouraged Michael Phelps to be probably the most successful swimmer ever.

Works Cited

A&E Television Networks. "Michael Phelps Biography." Biography.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. <http://www.biography.com/people/michael-phelps-345192#related-video-gallery>.

Britannica. "Phelps, Michael." Encyclopedia Brittanica. By Encyclopedia Brittanica. N.p.: Compton's by Britannica, 2011. N. pag. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. <http://discoverer.prod.sirs.com/discoweb/disco/do/article?urn=urn%3Asirs%3AUS%3BARTICLE%3BART%3B0000336605>.

Olympic.org. "Michael Phelps." Olympic.org. Olympic Movement, 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. <http://webpath.follettsoftware.com/resource/viewurl?encodedUrl=keZ8pL8j9gKBTdMZILLCokeDFintRV7_-i7CVAmPOr8&version=1&appsignature=Destiny&appversion=>.

Phelps, Michael. Beneath the Surface. New York: Sports Publishing, 2012. Print.

Phelps, Michael Fred. No Limits the Will to Succeed. N.p.: SimonandSchuster, 2008. Print.

USA Swimming. "Michael Phelps." usaswimming.org. USA Swimming, 2010. Web. 26 Mar. 2015. <http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1453&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US&biosid=4beec290-d7ae-483d-a512-36b18a4e022a>.

Michael Phelps Wins 200m Individual Medley Gold - London 2012 Olympics