Michael Phelps touched the wall for the final time in an individual event – in first place, naturally. And as he was finishing, in dove the Phelps Generation to carry the sport forward after its greatest champion is gone.
In dove Missy Franklin, age 17, obliterating the field to win the 200-meter backstroke, set a world record, and earn her fourth medal (and third gold) of these Olympics. And in dove Katie Ledecky, at 15 America's youngest Olympian, roaring out of relative nowhere to win the 800 freestyle and break Janet Evans's 23-year-old American record.
Ledecky is a classic Phelps Generation product. A resident of Bethesda, Maryland, not far from Phelps's hometown of Baltimore, she got his autograph on a swim cap in the parking lot of a meet at the University of Maryland – when she was 6 years old. Then she watched him take over the sport from 2004 until now, stretching theRead More »from The first ripple effects of the Phelps Generation become apparent as the king closes his career