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Michael Phelps by the numbers

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We first saw Michael Phelps as a 15-year-old swimming the 200m butterfly to a fifth place finish in Sydney, and even if we knew he was special then, we’re not sure anyone could have predicted what we’ve seen the last twelve years. On Tuesday Phelps became the most decorated Olympian in history when he swam his team to gold as anchor of the 4x200m free for his record 19th career medal. He’s since added three, upping his total to 22. Here’s a few numbers that break down his incredible career:

18 – Career golds won by Phelps. Twice as many as Larissa Latynina, Paavo Nurmi, Mark Spitz, and Carl Lewis, who each won nine.

48 – Years Latynina held the record after winning No. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

8 – Gold medals Phelps won at the 2008 Beijing Games, breaking Mark Spitz’s 40 year record of seven from the Munich Games.

29 – Times Phelps has broken a world record in an individual event.

37 – Times Phelps has broken a world record if you include relays.

2 – Career individual three-peats. Phelps won the 200m IM and 100m butterly in Athens, Beijing, and London. No other male swimmer has a single three-peat in an Olympic event.

22 – Medals Phelps officially ends his extraordinary career with.

0.05 – Combined time in which Phelps won his first two 100m butterfly golds. He beat Milorad Cavic by 0.01 in Beijing and beat teammate Ian Crocker by 0.04 in Athens.

0.23 – Time in which Phelps won the 100m butterfly Friday night after coming off the turn in seventh.

2 – Silver medals Phelps has won to go along with 18 gold and two bronze. Phelps didn’t finish second in any Olympics until Sunday’s 4x100m free relay and won another silver Tuesday night in the 200m fly.

6 – World Records Phelps currently holds in Olympic events, including the 100m fly, 200m fly, 400m IM, 4x100m free, 4x200m free, and 4x100m medley relay.

1 – Athlete who’s received a personal tweet of congratulations from President Obama during these Olympics: Michael Phelps.

0 – Equals.

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Paralympic swimmer disqualified for Olympic rings tattoo

Josef Craig
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British Paralympic champion Josef Craig was disqualified from a race because he didn’t cover up an Olympic rings tattoo on his chest at the IPC European Championships on Sunday.

Craig, 19, was disqualified because of an International Paralympic Committee swimming rule that states, “body advertisements are not allowed in any way whatsoever (this includes tattoos and symbols).”

Craig, who did not have the tattoo when he took gold at London 2012, has since competed at the European Championships with the Olympic rings tattoo covered.

If people attend the Paralympics, which are held weeks after the Olympics at the same venues, they will very often see the Paralympic Agitos logo where the Olympic logo once appeared.

It is visual proof that the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are separate entities.

At the London Paralympics, American Rudy Garcia-Tolson earned silver in a 200m individual medley with an Olympic rings tattoo visible near his left shoulder-blade.

An IPC spokesperson said the rule pertaining to the Paralympics — which covers all sports — was new going into 2012 and will be fully enforced for the first time in Rio.

MORE: London gymnastics medalist gets elaborate Olympic tattoo

Missy Franklin reads emotional letter to parents (video)

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Missy Franklin broke into tears reading a letter to her parents in a mock press conference in a spot for Minute Maid, one of the four-time Olympic champion’s sponsors since turning professional a year ago.

It was filmed in April near her home in Denver.

Franklin has split time training and competing and working with companies including GoPro, Laureus, Minute Maid, Speedo, United Airlines, Visa and Wheaties.

Franklin has said the sponsor commitments will curtail in the middle of May, when she starts a blackout period to focus on training for the U.S. Olympic Trials, which are June 26-July 3 in Omaha and air on NBC Sports.

VIDEO: Franklin revisits ‘biggest sacrifice’ in GoPro series finale