Michael Phelps has always been my favorite athlete. I saw him in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and thought wow I wanted to be like him. Then during the 2004 Athens games, he did more than most people his age do and I was in shock. Now I've never been so proud. He's set the record for the most Olympic gold medals in a single games and he's also influenced people everywhere. I don't think I've ever seen an athlete work as hard as he does. In the 2008 Summer Olympic Games held in Beijing, China, he did more than anyone has in the history of the games. By setting 7 world records and 1 Olympic record, it was a phenomenan in the making. I don't think that there are enough words to describe what I think of him as a person.
He's enabled people to follow their dreams and he's shown that anything can happen if you work hard. I look up to him for so much and even now when I look back on his career, I don't see him as Michael Phelps "the flying fish" from Baltimore, Maryland. I look at him and I see Michael Phelps the greatest athlete and person out there. He shows true dedication in what he does, but he also manages to give back to the people in so many ways. I can only hope that one day I can meet him and say thanks because he has given me the drive to follow my dreams. If people want to say that he'll be gone in ten years, let them, but that won't stop him from achieving his goals. All in all, he is the ultimate athlete, son, and role model for not just the sport of swimming, but for anyone out there who's ever had a dream.