2012 Olympics Star Power: Michael Phelps

Charting the career arcs of six of the biggest Olympic stars

Michael Phelps speaking at a "Get Motivated" Seminar at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California. Via Shutterstock     Photo: Randy Miramontez

2001: Breaks his first world record at age 15

2004: Six golds, two bronzes in Athens

2008: Eight golds! By a fingertip! Worldwide adulation!

2009: Bong-gate—loses Kellogg’s endorsement, suspended briefly by USA Swimming

2009: Rebounds to dominate world championships

2011: For the first time, defeated by teammate Ryan Lochte in worlds

2012: Announces the London Olympics will be his last. Hype ensues.

PREDICTION: No solo golds, but spots on three dominant relay squads make him the winningest Olympian ever

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