Michael Phelps left London with all the ingredients he could have ever wanted on the top of his sundae. Leading up to London, Phelps claimed that this competition would add the toppings to his ice cream sundae in what we be his final competition of his amazing swimming career. In London, Michael did not live up to the amazing standards he set in Beijing, but still had a memorable performance nonetheless.
In seven events, Phelps leaves London with four gold medals and two silvers. For the first time since 2000 in Sydney he also failed to medal in an event at the Olympic Games. The disappointment came in the first race of the competition, the 400 meter I.M. The event was won be fellow American and rival Ryan Lochte. It was a shocker that Phelps was unable to medal or even challenge the leaders in the race. Many questioned if this slow start would derail Phelps for the remainder of the competition in London. The exact opposite was true. Phelps seemed to get stronger as the competition went on.
After opening with the fourth place finish and following it up with two silver medals in the 400 free relay and the 200 butterfly, things really turned around for Michael Phelps. He won his final four events of his illustrious career and capped it off with a career total of 22 Olympic medals and 18 gold medals. Phelps led all swimmers in London with his six medals and was once again the king of the pool.
Just behind Phelps with five medals were Americans Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte and his training partner Allison Schmitt. Australian Alicia Coutts also brought home five medals in the swimming competition.
As the Olympics come to a close, it's sad for swimming fans everywhere to think that they've seen the last of Michael Phelps. I strongly believe his statements that he's swam his last race. The allure of glory in 2016 will also be there in the back of his mind, but what more does Phelps have to accomplish? He's drastically altered the sport of swimming and left it in a much better place than where it was when he burst onto the scene. Phelps' strong performance in London just puts the final stamp on his remarkable career. I'm happy for him and the sport of swimming that he was able to leave on top and go out with another performance that won't soon be forgotten.
Kyle Rapoza is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and grew up both competing and coaching in the sport of swimming.
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