After a career littered with broken records, Michael Phelps broke the biggest one of all in 2012.
At the London 2012 Olympics, he became the most decorated Olympian of all time. By winning four gold and two silver medals in the Olympic Aquatic Centre, he took his career total to an astonishing 22 medals: 18 gold, two silver and two bronze.
His London success included gold medals in the 100m butterfly and 200m medley. These victories made him the first man ever to defend an Olympic title at three consecutive Games following his breakthrough at Athens 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
These monumental achievements have now led to his nomination for the 2013 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award, the coveted Award he has been nominated for four times before but never won.
At the Beijing Games of 2008, Phelps famously won eight gold medals to break legendary swimmer and Laureus Academy Member Mark Spitz’s long-standing record of most golds won at a single Games.
And Spitz is confident the man who broke his 1972 record might just have done enough to finally win the prestigious Laureus Award at last.
Spitz said: “Michael Phelps is now recognised as the most accomplished Olympic athlete if you look at the medals he has won and the records he has achieved. He has a good chance of winning this Award.”
Do you think Phelps’s record-breaking year is enough for him to win the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award?
Let us know in the comments below if the swimmer has your support and why his achievements put him ahead of fellow Nominees Usain Bolt, Lionel Messi, Mo Farah, Bradley Wiggins and Sebastian Vettel.