Just when you thought Michael Phelps couldn’t possibly break any more records, he went and shattered a 2,168-year-old record held by one of the most famous ancient Olympians.
Not only did Phelps win his 22nd medal overall in the men’s 200 metre individual medley Thursday, the win marked his 13th individual Olympic gold medal, beating the previous record for the most gold medals held by an individual athlete.
That title previously belonged to Leonidas of Rhodes, who set the record in the original Greek Games in 164BC, 160BC, 156BC and 152BC.
Leonidas won 12 gold medals in four Olympic games. And while Phelps might be one of the world’s greatest swimmers, Leonidas certainly measures up in greatness. The runner won gold in 200 and 400 metre sprint events, as well as the hoplitodromos – a sprint that was completed in a full suit of armor. Even more impressive – all of this was done barefoot and without cupping therapy.