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Michael Phelps Sets Olympic Medal Record, U.S. Wins Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay (PHOTOS)

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Sweet 19!

With Michael Phelps swimming the anchor leg, the United States won gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. France won silver with China taking bronze. This is the 19th medal of Phelps' career, making him the most decorated Olympian of all time.

"I started smiling with about 20 meters to go," Phelps said after the win, via Nicole Auerback of USA Today. "That's the first time I've ever done that."

Handed a sizable lead for the anchor of the 4x200, Phelps had the luxury of enjoying the trip. Coming off disappointing results in the 4x100-meter relay and the 200-meter freestyle, Ryan Lochte delivered a powerful performance in the first leg, handing Conor Dwyer a lead. Although the gap was closed on Dwyer, he built it back up before Ricky Berens hit the water. The lead continued to grow and Phelps never let the competitors get close.


Michael Phelps Becomes Most Decorated Olympian
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"I thanked those guys for helping me get to this moment," said Phelps, admitting to reporters that the team had talked about the historical weight of the race. "I told those guys I wanted a big lead. I was like, 'You better give me a big lead going into the last lap,' and they gave it to me. I just wanted to hold on. I thanked them for being able to allow me to have this moment."

Approximately an hour after tying Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina for most Olympic medals ever with 18, Phelps was back in the water -- likely with a new swim cap. After his record-setting performance that new cap could very well end up in a museum. With his 19th overall medal (15 of them gold), Phelps moved ahead of Latynina, who won 18 medals across the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Summer Games.

Michael Phelps' Career Olympic Medal Haul

2004 AthensMen's 200 meters FreestyleBronze
2004 AthensMen's 4 × 100 meters Freestyle RelayBronze
2004 AthensMen's 4 × 200 meters Freestyle RelayGold
2004 AthensMen's 100 meters ButterflyGold**
2004 AthensMen's 200 meters ButterflyGold**
2004 AthensMen's 200 meters Individual MedleyGold**
2004 AthensMen's 400 meters Individual MedleyGold*
2004 AthensMen's 4 × 100 meters Medley RelayGold
2008 BeijingMen's 200 meters FreestyleGold*
2008 BeijingMen's 4 × 100 meters Freestyle RelayGold*
2008 BeijingMen's 4 × 200 meters Freestyle RelayGold*
2008 BeijingMen's 100 meters ButterflyGold**
2008 BeijingMen's 200 meters ButterflyGold*
2008 BeijingMen's 200 meters Individual MedleyGold*
2008 BeijingMen's 400 meters Individual MedleyGold*
2008 BeijingMen's 4 × 100 meters Medley RelayGold*
2012 LondonMen's 4 x 100 meters Freestyle RelaySilver
2012 LondonMen's 200 meters ButterflySilver
2012 LondonMen's 4 x 200 meters Freestyle RelayGold
2012 LondonMen's 200 meters Individual Medley FinalGold
2012 LondonMen's 100 meters Butterfly FinalGold
2012 LondonMen's 4x100 meters Medley RelayGold
*World Record/**Olympic Record
Information via Sports-Reference

*World Record
**Olympic Record
Information via Sports-Reference

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