One last time. Michael Phelps took home his 23rd career gold medal — and 28th overall — following his final race, the men’s 4×100-meter medley relay, at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Saturday, August 13.
Backstroker Ryan Murphy led off the legendary relay with a world record time (51.85) in the men’s 100-meter backstroke. Breaststroker Cody Miller then set the stage for Phelps, before Nathan Adrian took Team USA home with his freestyle, earning the U.S. — and Phelps — the final swimming gold medal of the 2016 Rio Games.
Just hours before Phelps, 31, received his fifth and final gold medal of the summer, he confirmed his retirement in a Facebook Live video. (Phelps also earned a silver medal in a three-way tie in Friday night’s 100-meter butterfly final.)
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 14, 2016
“We’re not going four more years, this is it,” Phelps, who is the most decorated Olympian of all time, said during the Facebook Q&A session on Saturday afternoon. “Tonight’s the last time that I’ll be suiting up and racing at this level. I’m not swimming Masters, either, no offense to Masters.”
He added, “Going for 30 medals in Tokyo, I don’t think so, boys and girls. This is over, this is it. It’s a lot to think about, 24 years in the sport, and we’re finishing up tonight.”
“It’s obviously a very emotional event for me,” Phelps said with tears in his eyes as he stood on the podium to receive his medal on Thursday. “It’s very special, being able to win 22 Olympic gold medals. It’s something you just dream of. I’ve said this before, but I’m living a dream come true.”
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