Michael Phelps covers the December 8, 2008 Sports Illustrated
Michael Phelps just achieved another unprecedented feat; the Baltimore native has become the first swimmer honored as Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year.”
“Honestly, I feel like the same person I’ve been my whole life,” Michael said at a recent photo session where he posed for the Sports Illustrated cover. “I’m doing what I love. I was able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish this year. It’s been a dream come true of a year, and I definitely couldn’t ask to change anything.”
S.I. group editor Terry McDonell said this year it was an easy choice: “Look at what he did in Beijing last summer. I was there. I saw him race after race, win again and again — we all saw that. And then to know him now — it is so obvious that he changed not only swimming, but also the entire Olympic landscape.”
Phelps, 23, broke human dolphin Mark Spitz’s record when he brought home eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in August. He is the “Most Decorated Olympian” in the history of the Games.