Four days in, and I’m already getting excited with the numbers piling up. But how can any sane-minded writer control his/her excitement? Much of it has to do with the US Olympic swim team, and Michael Phelps, who, at age 31, has come out of retirement to continue like he never left. This added dimension of underdog-ness about the Baltimore Bullet has further enhanced his legend, especially after he spent Tuesday night at the Aquatic Center winning more gold medals.
Let’s take a quick look at some scarcely believable and partially made-up stats:
31 – the Rio edition of the Summer Olympic Games.
31 – Michael Phelps’ age, the most successful Olympian of all time.
31 – Number of seconds Phelps perpetrated the ‘death stare’ on rival Chad Le Clos before the 200m freestyle heats in the locker room.
21 – Number of gold medals won by Phelps so far, in five editions.
25 – Total number of medals won by Phelps since Sydney, 2000.
25 – Percentage bump in TV ratings fueled by Phelps’ death-stare meme-worthy moment.
39 – Michael Phelps’ rank in the all-time gold-medal tally, if he were a country, tying with Ethiopia, ahead of nations like Austria, Jamaica and Argentina, only one behind South Africa and Brazil.
174 – Number of countries behind Phelps currently in the all-time medal tally.
10 – Number of countries who have won more gold medals ever since he won his first gold at Athens 2004.
13 – Difference between his gold medal tally and India’s all-time gold medal tally. India has won eight in their entire history. Together with Pakistan, they have won 13 in total.
12 – His overall country rank since 2004, among all countries that have won 10 or more gold medals in the period.
3 – Number of golds he has won in four days at Rio alone, two more than India have managed over the last 32 years.
3 – The number of times he has won his signature 200m butterfly gold.
5 – The position he had finished in at Sydney 2000, at age 15 in his first ever Olympic Games.
4 – Number of years ago Phelps lost this same event to Chad Le Clos in the London Games by 0.05 seconds, propelling him into retirement talk.
9 – His current rank (out of 206) in the Rio Olympic medal table, ahead of France; his gold-medal tally ties him at 5th with Russia, Italy, South Korea and Japan.
2 – Number of events left for Phelps to participate in at Rio: the 200m individual medley and the 100m men’s butterfly, which could take his final gold medal tally to 23 by the end of his career.
1 – the number of Rio Olympians who have won three golds like Phelps so far, Hungary’s 27-year old ‘Iron Lady’ swimmer Katinka Hosszu in the 100m backstroke, 400m individual medley (World Record by two seconds) and 200m individual medley (Olympic Record)