“I don’t think we’ve seen anything like
him. Nobody’s this good in everything.”
—American swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg

“I am not thinking of Michael in terms of being one of the greatest swimmers ever. I am thinking of him as one of the greatest athletes ever. What he is doing is amazing.”

“When you have someone like Michael come along in a sport which doesn’t get all the attention, it can only be good.”

“Even if Michael doesn’t win one Olympic medal, to me he’s still the greatest swimmer of all time.”

“The world is fast in swimming right now. The world was not fast when Mark Spitz did his seven.”
—American swimmer Brendan Hansen

"He did something that's never been done before. We're happy to be a part of it."
—American swimmer Aaron Piersol

“I’m very much in awe of the confidence he has in himself.”
—American swimmer Natalie Coughlin

I just feel very privileged that I got to watch Michael Phelps win eight gold medals. That’s been the highlight of my Olympics.”
—Australian swimmer Liesl Jones

I just don’t even know how he holds himself together.”
—Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice

"Michael is the closest to Mark Spitz that we have in this country.”
Former Olympic coach Jon Urbanchek

“I really think he's going to get better. That's the amazing part of all this.”
Team USA coach Mark Schubert

“He’s a once-in-a-generation athlete, at the very least.”
Swimming World editor Phil Whitten

“It’s like he’s going into Wrestlemania all be himself to take on a tag team. But he’s a monster.”
—U.S. tack legend Edwin Moses

“If you’re putting together a human being from science, this is what you want.”
—Gold Medal swimmer Rowdy Gaines

“Michael’s first year on the national team, we’d do skits imitating his big ears. Now we just try to swim like him.”
—American swimmer Tom Wilkens

“On most days, he’s easy to coach.”
—Coach Bob Bowman

“He has an adult body, a body made for swimming, to go along with an incredible ability to relax and focus under pressure, probably better than any athlete I’ve ever seen. He’s largely unaffected by all the attitude and hype. He doesn’t allow that to affect his performance in any way. And he’s fiercely competitive.”

“He’s a water creature. You don’t want him on land.”

“Every sport needs a good rivalry and I'm glad to have that rivalry with such a great athlete.”
—American swimmer Ryan Lochte

“He likes to train. He’s never satisfied. Outside the pool, he’s a normal guy to hang out with. But he’s mature in ways, too.”
—Training partner Kevin Clements

“There’s no stopping him right now and he’s going to get better. The guy thinks there’s nothing he can’t do. Every time you set a bat up there, he goes over it.”
—American swimmer Nate Dusing

“I see Michael as an incredibly talented swimmer. I have the utmost respect for him.”
—Olympic champion Ian Thorpe

“Michael is utterly unassuming. He doesn’t travel with an entourage.”
—Visa executive Michael Lynch

“Once in a lifetime, an athlete comes along who has the athletic ability to transform or even redefine a sport. He’s one of the few Olympians who will be a brand unto himself.”
—Michael’s agent Peter Carlisle

“It’s a great opportunity for Michael, for swimming, for the Olympics. I’m focused on what he’s going to do, and I hope he does it.”
—Olympic Hero Mark Spitz

“t goes to show you that not only is this guy the greatest swimmer of all time and the greatest Olympian of all time, he's maybe the greatest athlete of all time. He's the greatest racer who ever walked the planet.”

“He’s one of the most talented swimmers of all time.”
—American swimmer Matt Biondi

“Michael gets what he deserves, and he works for what he deserves. He puts it on the line like nobody we’ve seen.”
—U.S. swimming coach Eddie Reese

“He is really redefining our expectations of swimming excellence. He is blazing his own trail now, and there is probably a whole global army of young swimmers who are looking up to him.”
—American swimmer Pablo Morales

Lenny Krayzelburg,
2002 SI for Kids



Natalie Coughlin,
2003 SI for Kids



Edwin Moses, 1991 Impel



Ryan Lochte, 2009 SI for Kids

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