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Updated: August 5, 2012 02:45 IST

Phelps ends career with 18th gold

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Michael Phelps poses with his gold medal in the 4 x 100m medley relay at the London Olympics on Saturday.
Michael Phelps poses with his gold medal in the 4 x 100m medley relay at the London Olympics on Saturday.

The finale was a formality, more a coronation than a contest. Michael Phelps headed into the retirement the only way imaginable with another gold medal.

Reclaiming the lead with his trademark butterfly stroke, the one most people first saw in Sydney a dozen years ago, Phelps won the 18th gold of a mind-boggling career in the 4x100m medley relay on Saturday.

When it was done, Phelps hugged his teammates Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian before heading off the deck for the final time in his suit. He waved to the crowd and smiled, clearly at peace with his decision to call it a career.

And what a career it was!

Phelps retires with twice as many golds as any other Olympian, and his total of 22 medals is easily the best mark, too. He can be quite proud of his final Olympics as well, even though there were times he had trouble staying motivated after winning a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games four years ago.

Bouncing back from a disappointing first race in London, a fourth-place finish in the 400 individual medley, Phelps wound up with more medals than any other swimmer at the Games - four golds and two silvers.

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Viva Michael Phelps (USA)! Your Olympic performance will be unmached by any human being for several decades to come, if ever. Are you human or superman? While the superhuman Phelps is in the limelight of winning Olympic medals, there are others who made their mark in Olympics, though they did not get any medals. They are:
(1) Noor Hussain al-Malki in 100 meters women's sprint made just two steps only in the race, but was the first woman from Quatar, an orthodex Muslim country.
(2) Oscar Brayson from Cuba who defeated his opponent more than double in weight in judo.
(3) Wojdan Shaherhani, the first woman to represent Saudi Arabia, an orthodox Muslim country.
(4) Hamadou Djibo who was last in men's rowing single sculls repechage, the only representative from Niger, the poorest country land locked in the middle of Sahara desert.
(5) Pistorius, the double amputee sprinter from South Africa.
They are all winners, with or without Olympic medals, and inspiration to human endeavor.

from:  Davis K. Thanjan
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 21:39 IST
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