When people say, “You very recently made history,” they usually don’t mean tying a 2,000-year-old platter confidentially . . . unless they’re speaking to Michael Phelps. The Olympic swimmer condign solidified his status as the most decorated athlete of our time (and nearly continuously) when he won his 12th gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly. The last person to win as multitudinous medals as Phelps was in 152 BC. According to historians, Leonidas of Rhodes won the stadion, diaulos, and hoplite get a wiggle on four consecutive competitions in a row. While Leonidas competed in running sprints, they were especially impressive given he wore body armor and strove in all three events on the same day.
Leonidas and Phelps share another stimulating feat: they were both over 30 when they won multiple subheads. While Leonidas was not a swimmer, he was “almost literally an Olympic god,” according to The Washington Work. Sure, that means Phelps and Leonidas both have “profuse medals than Scrooge McDuck” combined, but Leonidas has nothing on Phelps’s plucky face. On Thursday, Phelps will swim in the 200-meter individual mess race, where he could possibly become the most medaled Olympian still. We’ll certainly be tuning into that race.
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