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And the Sportsman of the Year Award Goes To . . .

And the Sportsman of the Year award goes to . . . Michael Phelps! After winning a record-breaking eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics and breaking seven world records (some were on relay teams) while doing so, this award really comes as no surprise. He seriously deserves it.

Every year Sports Illustrated presents the award to an athlete or an entire team it feels deserving, after a stellar year of athletic performance as well as sportsmanship. Phelps's quest for eight golds and the US relay team upset in the 100m relay moved swimming, an often marginalized sport, to center stage this Summer during the first week of the Olympic games. He astounded America with his high-calorie diet and his deal with McDonald's. Gold medals and big money endorsements aside, we all know Michael has made it as a sports legend because a video game featuring him is currently being developed in France. A swimming video game? This could be the push into the pool that moves swimming from the margins to the mainstream.

To see some memorable shots of Phelps at the Olympics or to revisit his awesome abs, just

.

Congrats to Michael Phelps! And a little bit of history to contextualize his winning the title Sportsman of the Year. In 1972, the year Marks Spitz won seven gold medals at the games in Munich breaking the worlds record for most medals won during a single Olympics, tennis great Billie Jean King won the award. It just goes to show you how likable and real Phelps remains after winning all those golds!

Interested in reliving a few Olympic moments with Mr. Phelps? Then check out the gallery below.


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Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
Am I the only one here who's been sick of Dolphin Boy since the Olympics?
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 7 years
Of course it went to him! That would have been my first guess :P
runningesq runningesq 7 years
(also I am hoping we can become drinking buddies :))
runningesq runningesq 7 years
HE SHOPS AT MY GROCERY STORE! I was checking out at Safeway and the clerk told me Micheal Phelps just left How cool is that?!
runningesq runningesq 7 years
<b>HE SHOPS AT MY GROCERY STORE!</b>I was checking out at Safeway and the clerk told me <i>Micheal Phelps just left</i>How cool is that?!
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
why am i not at all surprised by this one? it was quite obvious that they were going to make such a big deal about him in any way that they could.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 7 years
A swimming video game? Huh? Closest I've ever gotten to that was the water levels in Super Mario Bros.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
You know, I never did see the originally intended SI cover with him wearing all of his medals. Did that ever come out, or did they go with a different picture?
sarahcateh sarahcateh 7 years
ooooh Michael Phelps's abs.... how I miss seeing them on tv everyday.
sarahcateh sarahcateh 7 years
ooooh Michael Phelps's abs....how I miss seeing them on tv everyday.
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