Michael Phelps wears all 28 Olympic medals

1 Comment

Michael Phelps chose to pose with all 28 of his Olympic medals for the first time for a Sports Illustrated cover shoot.

The weight: 18 pounds, four ounces.

It’s Phelps’ 12th SI cover and his third this year. A full history is here.

Phelps has said in recent interviews that he had taken them all out once and looked at them with his wife and friend and fellow Olympic champion Allison Schmitt.

“I basically was like, this is unbelievable, it doesn’t seem real,” Phelps said. “They were both kind of, ‘It is real.'”

Phelps said he has a story for every one of his Olympic finals, from walking up to teammate Tom Malchow on the pool deck seconds before the Sydney 2000 200m butterfly to sharing his first gold medal through a chain-link fence with mother Debbie after the Athens 2004 400m individual medley to knowing during the final lap of the Rio 2016 100m butterfly that it was the way it was supposed to end.

In all, the 28 medals include 23 gold, three silver and two bronze.

2004: Six gold, two bronze
2008: Eight gold
2012: Four gold, two silver
2016: Five gold, one silver

Phelps and those close to him spoke about retirement — and the possibility of unretiring again — in the SI cover story. If Phelps chooses to unretire, he will have to re-enter a drug-testing pool and wait nine months before being eligible to compete.

“I give it eight years [until 2024, when Phelps will be 39], and then Boomer is like, ‘Come on, Dad, let’s see it one more time,'” wife Nicole said, according to SI. “Anyway, I see that being the only thing that could bring him back—to swim for Boomer.”

MORE: Phelps on why his goal number in Rio was ’40’