A vibrant portrait of American swimmer Michael Phelps--the dominant athlete at the 2004 Olympics--who has relentlessly pushed himself, promoted his sport, and appears poised to ultimately accumulate the most gold medals in Olympic history
Before he was old enough to have a driver's license, Michael Phelps had a world record. Before he ever took a college class or turned 20, he had earned distinction by winning 8 medals--6 gold and 2 bronze--at the Athens Olympics, the most in non-boycotted Games. Along the way, he captivated an American television audience and confounded the critics who questioned his ambition.
• provides the most revealing look yet at a young man who became a world-class athlete before he had the chance to grow up--by respected Baltimore Sun journalist Paul McMullen, who followed Phelps's rise from an obscure 14-year-old to the most scrutinized competitor at the world's biggest sporting event
• details the plotting of his career, from turning professional at age 16, to the management of the first crises he encountered
Paul McMullen's 5 years of observation add dramatic context to the life of a young athlete whose rise to prominence coincided with the tumult of the first Summer Olympics after 9/11. No Olympian has ever earned 10 gold medals in a career, but Michael Phelps is on pace to achieve that milestone at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China.
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