Built for Speed

Why phenom Michael Phelps wants the hype over his gold rush to last, not just for him but for the sport itself

Even before a single Olympic medal has been hung around his neck, Michael Phelps is rewriting the manual on what it means to be a world-class swimmer. Entered in five individual events and a candidate for each of the three relay races in Athens, Phelps has the potential to win eight gold medals, and eclipse the standard held by Mark Spitz, who won seven golds in 1972. It's a long shot, but no one is better prepared to do it. Just 19, Phelps holds the world record in three of those five individual events and is a fingernail's distance from the...

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