Michael Phelps has a lot of records. He won his 22nd gold medal on Thursday, extending his record for the most golds of any Olympian ever. His win in the 200 meter butterfly Tuesday made him the first person to win individual swimming gold in Olympic games 12 years apart. That race also made him the oldest man to win individual swimming gold, breaking a 96-year-old record set by Hawaiian surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku in 1920.
But there is an even older record Phelps set when he claimed his 13th individual gold by winning his fourth 200m IM on Thursday.
#Olympics With his 12th individual Olympic title Michael Phelps equal the all time Olympic record set by Leonidas of Rhodes in 152 BC— Hilary Evans (@OlympicStatman) August 10, 2016
Typically our oldest sports records are at most 75 or 100 years old, so it's absolutely wild to think of a sports record that spans millennia. But if we consider today's modern Olympics to be an extension of the ancient games held in Greece, Phelps has now set a record.
13 individual Olympic titles is by far the record for the modern games -- early 20th century American track-and-field star Ray Ewry is next with eight. But Leonidas won 12 titles in the second century B.C. A renowned runner, Leonidas won three events -- the stadion, a sprint; the diaulos, a longer run; the hoplitodromos, a run performed while wearing armor -- in four straight Olympiads. He is believed to have won more Olympic titles than anybody at the ancient Olympic games. .
If we're being technical, Leonidas never won any gold medals -- they gave out wreaths of olive leaves back in the day, not gold medals. But Phelps passed Leonidas for most Olympic titles (medals or wreaths) with his win Thursday in the 200-meter individual medley.
Hopefully Leonidas enjoyed his 2,000 years on top. Here's to the robot sports bloggers of the year 4,184 putting up a post about how Olympic blernsball champion Lord Glorpnax the Destroyer has tied a record from an ancient swimming man named "Michael Phelps."