Editorial: Michael Phelps is the Greatest Athlete of All Time

Noah Drexler, Reporter

ESPN recently published a list of the top 20 athletes who dominated their respective sports in the last 20 years. The list is based on data that ESPN collected and they gave each athlete a dominance rating, and contained famous names like Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning. One name that was omitted was the swimmer Michael Phelps.

Michael Phelps isn’t only deserving to be on their list, but he deserves the top spot because he is the greatest athlete of all time.

Phelps dominated four out of the five Olympics he competed in. He was the youngest male to make the Olympic team in history at the young age of 15 years old. Four years later in Athens Phelps won eight Olympic medals, six of them were gold and two of them were bronze. This tied him for the most medals in a single games with Soviet Union gymnast Alexander Dityatin. His greatest show of dominance was yet to come.   At the 2008 Beijing Olympics Phelps earned 8 gold medals. It was a feat that no one had ever accomplished or repeated since.

“I am not thinking of Michael in terms of being one of the greatest swimmers ever. I am thinking of him as one of the greatest athletes ever. What he is doing is amazing,” said four time gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg. Michael ended his swimming career with 28 Olympic medals. The next closest person was Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina with 18 medals.

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt claims the tenth spot on the ESPN list. However, Phelps has 15 more gold medals than Bolt. Additionally according to Business Insider Phelps set 39 world records over his career while Bolt had only set two. Phelps is clearly the superior athlete.

The number one slot on the ESPN list is golfer Tiger Woods. ESPN said, “[Woods] won 13 of 35 majors from late 1999 to mid-2008.” The majors are the biggest golf tournaments of the year. Michael easily out performs Woods at big tournaments. Michael Phelps won gold in 23 of the 30 events he competed in over 4 separate Olympics according to Team USA. The Olympics are only every four years while there are four majors a year. Phelps has a higher winning percentage than Woods and deserves to top the ESPN list of most dominant athletes of the past two decades.

If you agree Phelps is the greatest athlete of all time, then send a tweet to the writer of the article Peter Keating asking him to change his list.