Michael Phelps made his first Olympic team at age 15, finishing fifth in the 200-meter butterfly in Sydney.
Four years later, the expectations were much higher. He broke the 200 fly world record in 2001 and broke it again to win his first world championship later that year. In the 2003 world championships, he defended his title and added championships in the 200-meter medley, the 400-meter medley and 4×100 medley relay.
On Aug. 14, 2004, still barely 19 years old, Phelps jumped into the pool for his first final of the Athens Olympics, the 400-meter medley.
Even the yellow line for world-record pace was no competition for Phelps.
That year, Phelps took gold in both medleys, both butterflies and two relays. He added bronze in two other events for a total of eight medals.
Twelve years later, he wrapped up with a career total of 23 golds, three silvers and two bronzes.
The full list:
Gold (6): 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m medley, 400m medley, 4x200m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay
Bronze (2): 200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay
Gold (8): 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m medley, 400m medley, 200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay, 4x200m freestyle relay
Gold (4): 100m butterfly, 200m medley, 4x200m freestyle relay. 4x100m medley relay
Silver (2): 4x100m freestyle relay, 200m butterfly
Did not medal: 400m medley (fourth)
Gold (5): 200m butterfly, 200m medley, 4x100m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay, 4x200m freestyle relay
Silver (1): 100m butterfly