Jul 31, 2012; London, United Kingdom; USA relay team members from left Michael Phelps , Conor Dwyer , Ryan Lochte and Ricky Berens pose with their gold medals and American flags after winning the men's 4x200m freestyle relay finals during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Greatest Ever: Michael Phelps Makes Olympic History

Michael Phelps became the all-time Olympic medal winner on Tuesday, adding a gold and silver to his collection. Americans Allison Schmitt and Caitlin Leverenz added to the U.S. medal haul in the pool.

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Olympics 2012 Swimming: Michael Phelps Sets Medal Record As Team USA Wins 4 More

Michael Phelps entered the day sitting on 17 total medals, just one shy of tying the record of 18 set by Larisa Latynina of the then Soviet Union. Phelps was able to tie the record with a silver medal in the Men's 200m fly, just narrowly missing out on gold, before breaking the record by anchoring Team USA's gold-medal performance in the Men's 4x200m relay.

"I would have liked a better outcome in the 200 fly. Obviously it was my last one and I would have liked to win but ... it wasn't a terrible time," Phelps told reporters after winning his record setting 19th Olympic Medal. "I thank those guys for helping me get to this moment ... I just wanted to hold on. I thank them for allowing me this moment."

Phelps didn't sound disappointed with his performance in the 2012 Games, which included a disappointing fourth-place finish in the 400m individual medley earlier in the week, despite failing to meet lofty expectations.

"The biggest thing I've always said is -- anything is possible," Phelps said. "I've put my mind on doing something nobody has ever done before and there is nothing that was going to stand in my way -- of being the first Michael Phelps."

It wasn't just Phelps for the Americans making a splash. His training partner, 22-year-old Allison Schmitt, took home her third medal of the 2012 Olympics thus far, picking up the gold in the Women's 200m Freestyle. In Beijing in 2008, Schmitt picked up a silver and a bronze medal and has now brought her Olympic total to five medals in just two Olympic appearances.

In the same 200m Freestyle in which Schmitt won gold, 17-year-old Missy Franklin just missed on winning bronze and her third medal of her very first Olympic appearance. Franklin finished just 0.01 seconds behind Australian swimmer Bronte Barratt.

American Caitlin Leverenz also medaled for the United States on Tuesday, winning the bronze medal in the Women's 200m Individual Medley. Leverenz took home her first career medal in her first Olympics, after just barely missing out in qualifying for the 2008 Beijing games by finishing third and twice in fourth place at the U.S. Trials.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub. For more on Olympic swimming, follow the 2012 Olympic swimming section.


Michael Phelps Sets Olympic Medal Record, U.S. Wins Gold In 4x200m Relay

Michael Phelps won his 19th career Olympic medal on Tuesday, becoming the most decorated Olympian ever, as the United States dominated to win gold in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay.


Women's 200m IM Final: Ye Shiwen Wins Gold Again For China

Ye Shiwen's massive Olympics in the pool got even better when she scored her second gold medal, in the women's 200m IM, on Tuesday.


Michael Phelps Ties All-Time Olympic Medal Record With Silver In 200m Fly

Michael Phelps won his record-tying 18th career Olympic medal on Tuesday, claiming silver in the men's 200m butterfly, finishing just 0.05 seconds behind South Africa's Chad le Clos.


Women's 200m Freestyle Final: Allison Schmitt Dominates For Team USA Gold

Allison Schmitt stole the show in the 200m freestyle, blowing away the field to win gold in Olympic record time.


Michael Phelps Will Swim Anchor Leg In Men's 4x200m Free Relay

Michael Phelps will swim the anchor leg for the United States in Tuesday's 4x200m freestyle relay, scheduled to start at 3:51 p.m. ET. Team USA will lead off with Ryan Lochte, followed by Conor Dwyer, then Ricky Berens, and then finally, Phelps.

The swim could be a historic one for Phelps -- if he medals in the 200m fly at 2:49 p.m. ET (his signature event), a medal in the relay would give him 19 total for his career, making him the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympics. Just one medal on Tuesday would equal the record currently held by former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

The 4x200m free relay comes just two days after the U.S. finished second to France in the 4x100m free relay, a race in which Phelps swam from the second position while Lochte had the anchor leg. n that race, Phelps turned in the fasteset split for the American team while Lochte was passed by France's Yannick Agnel.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub.


London Olympics: How To Watch Michael Phelps Swimming For History Online

Michael Phelps had a short day in the 2012 Olympic pool on Monday, merely qualifying for the men's 200m butterfly title. On Tuesday, Phelps will defend his gold medal in the final of the event, and go for a bit more Olympic history.

Phelps has a chance to become the first men's swimmer to win an event in three consecutive Olympics in the 200m butterfly, one of the few new feats available for the most acclaimed swimmer in Olympic history. Phelps has already come up short in one attempt at the milestone, placing fourth in the 400m IM, but Japan's Kosuke Kitajima failed to beat Phelps to the record by not winning the 100m breaststroke.

Phelps' final is the second of four finals in London on Tuesday, but, as with all major events at the 2012 Olympics, they will not be shown on American TV until NBC's primetime coverage, which begins Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET. The live Olympics swimming stream is available via NBC Live Extra. Here's the schedule for Tuesday's four medal finals.

  • 2:41 p.m. - Women's 200m Freestyle
  • 2:49 p.m. - Men's 200m Butterfly
  • 3:43 p.m. - Women's 200m IM
  • 3:51 p.m. - Men's 4x200m Free Relay

Phelps' run at the historic triple won't be his only chance at history on Tuesday — with wins in that event and the 4x200 relay, he could tie and pass Larisa Latynina's overall Olympic record of 18 medals before his time in the pool is through.

Americans could medal in the two women's events of the day, as well, as Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt could add more medals to their London tallies in the 200m freestyle, and Ariana Kukors and Caitlin Leverenz should be competitors in a deep women's 200 IM field that includes China's record-breaking Shiwen Ye.

You can find a complete medal tracker at SI.com.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub. For more on Olympic swimming, follow the 2012 Olympic swimming section.

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