Olympic Flashback: Michael Phelps
This article ran in the Oct/Nov. 2001 edition of SchoolSports magazine.
Gatorade Performer of the Month – October, 2001
Michael Phelps may not get a lot of attention outside the swimming world, and most people probably couldn't pick him out of a lineup. But this 16-year-old junior at Towson High might just be the best high school athlete in the nation.
Phelps holds the world record in the 200-meter butterfly. He originally set the mark by swimming a 1:54.92 at the USA Swimming Championships in March, then broke his own record by swimming a 1:54.58 to win the gold medal at the World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, in June.
He followed up his record-breaking performance by taking two gold medals and a silver at the national championships in August. Phelps won the 200 individual medley (2:00.86) and the 100 fly (53.15), finished second in the 200 backstroke (2:00.57) and placed sixth in the 200 free (1:51.73). He did not compete in the 200 fly because he wanted to focus on other events.
Phelps, who does not swim at Towson because the school does not have a swim team, is currently ranked in the Top 10 in the world in four events: first in the 200 fly, third in the 200 IM, fourth in the 400 IM and 10th in the 100 fly.