Michael Phelps Just Broke A 2,168-Year-Old Record

Michael Phelps is smashing all kinds of records. The swimmer has 22 golds overall, 26 total medals, and 13 individual golds. That, in his fourth Olympics, is what we’re going to focus on. When he powered past fellow American Ryan Lochte and the rest of the field in the 200m medley, Phelps broke a record that previously stood since 152 B.C., according to the New York Times.

That’s right. More than 2,000 years old. The previous record holder was Leonidas, who competed in four different Olympics and won his medals in track. The BBC notes that Leonidas was 36 when he won his last three golds.

“The three events at which he triumphed were the stadion, a sprint of roughly 200m; the diaulos, which was twice the distance of the stadion; and the longer hoplitodromos, or race in armour,” the BBC writes.

Sounds intense. Especially given that all three took place during the same day. Don't mess with the Greeks. Or do, if you're Leonidas. Phelps admittedly hasn’t won any races in a suit of armor, but we’ll take the for-sure 22 over the maybe-12. After all, how accurate was their record-keeping in those days?

The next-most-decorated modern medalist is Soviet Union gymnast Larisa Latynina with 18.

No wonder his competitors are literally bowing down to him in the ready room.

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