#L2012DAYS - Phelps’ goes from second to immortality
The evening of 31 July 2012. Later on. Some time after Chad le Clos upset the apple cart.
See le Clos beat the Baltimore Bullet, Michael Phelps, in the Men’s 200m Butterly final to Gold. Settling for silver, Phelps equalled Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina’s record haul of 18 Olympic medals won. As part of the American men’s quartet competing in the 4x200m Freestyle relay final he had the chance to make amends. To win another Gold medal, to consign Latynina to history and become (at least statistically) the greatest Olympian ever.
Swimming the final leg, after some excellent work from his teammates (not least his heir apparent Ryan Lochte), Phelps dominated to the final. History was made here in the Aquatics Centre. History so many wanted to see. Michael Phelps has consistently been a model of excellence for swimming and the Olympic movement. He had earned this moment of accolade not least in will be his last Olympics.
Team USA won out in a time 6:59.70. Phelps would win more medals before London 2012 concluded to emphatically emboss his place his time. But on this night, everything changed. Even in defeat, this was Phelps’ moment.
Here we see him lead Team USA to victory, and the celebrations that followed.