Phelps Wins Eighth Gold, Breaks Spitz's Record
08/17/2008 AT 10:15 AM EDT
The Olympian scored yet another gold medal Sunday in the 4x100 medley relay, bringing his grand total to eight since the games in Beijing began. It is the most golds won by any athlete at a single Olympics.
The US men's 4x100-meter medley relay team, again on the strength of an anchor leg swim by Jason Lezak, broke a world record with a time of 3:29.34.
After the victory, Phelps led the team (which included Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen and Lezak) in a long poolside embrace.
"These guys made it possible," he told reporters upon leaving the pool. "I literally wanted to do something that no one's ever done before in this sport. Without the help of my teammates it wouldn't have been possible."
At the end of it though, Phelps added, "I don't even know what to feel right now – so many emotions. I guess I kind of just want to see my mom."
He got his wish: Phelps was able to embrace his mother Debbie, who had watched the race in the stands with Michael's sisters Whitney and Hilary, for just a moment.
When asked what he thought of himself at a press conference following the race, Phelps said with a laugh, "I have no idea. I think that's probably the first question I don't know the answer to."
Phelps's victory on the last day of swimming helped break Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals from the 1972 Olympics in Munich. He now has 16 total Olympic medals in his lifetime, 14 of them gold (a world record).
But he’s not done yet: he has his sights on the World Championships in Rome. Why? As he said with a laugh, “My mom’s told me that I better make the team because she wants to go to Rome!”