Michael Phelps Makes History (Again!) as He Becomes First Male Swimmer to Make 5 Olympics
Michael Phelps qualified for the upcoming Rio games at the U.S. Olympic trials on Wednesday
Michael Phelps has already made history as the most decorated Olympian ever, with 22 all-time medals. And now, the 31-year-old athlete has checked off another record – becoming the first male swimmer to make five Olympic teams.
Phelps qualified for the upcoming Rio games at the U.S. Olympic trials on Wednesday evening, finishing first in 1:54.84 during the men’s 200-meter butterfly.
Tom Shields, who finished second in the race, also made the team, as the top two finishers in each event automatically qualify.
“Being able to make my fifth is something that means a lot to me,” Phelps told reporters afterwards, per the Omaha World-Herald. “20 years from now I’ll be able to look and be happy with making that decision to come back.”
“I’m going to RIO!!! So pumped!!!” he also wrote on Instagram after the big win, hashtagging the post “#number5.”
He recently opened up to ESPN The Magazine about his past struggles with alcohol and suicidal thoughts, despite winning six medals in 2012’s London games – four of them gold.
“I thought the world would just be better off without me,” he said. “I figured that was the best thing to do – just end my life.”
In Rio, Phelps is expected to compete in a number of events, including the 100 fly and 200 individual medley. He’ll continue to compete in qualifying events this week.