Few Olympic careers last more than one or two Olympic Games. Father time has put on all of us the penalty of slowing as we age and the feats we accomplished in our youth slip away through no fault or flaw of our own, except that which is the human condition. Michael Phelps however, outlasted Father Time, proving that the indomitable human spirit has something to say about the issue at hand. As we reflect on great Americans through these stories, we can't help but admire the fight that Michael Phelps put up against time. His greatest feat may not necessarily be the defeat of his mortal foes, but his defiant fight against time itself.Rio 2016, having competed already in four Olympic games, Sydney, Athens, Beijing, and London, Michael Phelps had already "retired" from swimming.As we age, our ability to complete the tasks we were once able to may not diminish in and of themselves, but our ability to recover and repeat these feats is what first starts to disappear. Now a little over 30 years old, Michael could still easily keep pace, but would he be able to recover day in and day out, make the finals and still compete.Yes.
With almost unprecedented determination and iron willpower, Michael Phelps stared down his opponents, remained defiant till the very end, in his final race earning he and his team another gold medal. This would be Phelps' 23rd gold medal and 28th medal overall.He is an athlete yes, he is not a warrior, proven on the battlefield. However, we can still learn and be inspired by his actions. Being well past the prime of a competitive swimmer, Phelps still showed the world what an American is made of. For that, we honor the greatest Olympian and American icon, Michael Phelps!Read more stories of American Grit here: