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Phelps's international titles and record-breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award eight times and American Swimmer of the Year Award eleven times, as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 20.Phelps earned Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportsman of the Year award due to his unprecedented Olympic success in the 2008 Games.After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles.Phelps retired following the 2012 Olympics, but he made a comeback in April 2014.At the 2005 World Championship Trials, Phelps decided to drop his specialty events, the 400-meter individual medley and the 200-meter butterfly, and experiment with the 400-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle.On July 30, Phelps swam in his last individual event, the 100-meter butterfly.
My sisters and myself fell in love with the sport, and we decided to swim." Phelps' rapid improvement culminated when he qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics at the age of 15, as became the youngest male (since Ralph Flanagan in 1932) to make a U. Previously this had been Ian Thorpe, who lowered the 400-meter freestyle world record at 16 years, 10 months.
Phelps dominated again, finishing in the top seed position with a world record time of 51.47.
However, in the final of the 100-meter butterfly, on July 26, Ian Crocker erased Phelps's world record with a time of 50.98, to become the first man under 51 seconds.
This gave Phelps an automatic entry into the medley relay, but he deferred and Crocker swam instead.
The American medley team went on to win the event in world-record time, and, since Phelps had raced in a preliminary heat of the medley relay, he was also awarded a gold medal along with the team members who competed in the final.