August 18, 2008

Press Shows Phelps’s Mettle in Olympic Effort

Life, Aug. 18, 1972. (Newseum collection)
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Life, Aug. 18, 1972. (Newseum collection)

The Sun, Baltimore, Aug. 10, 2008. (Courtesy The Sun)
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The Sun, Baltimore, Aug. 10, 2008. (Courtesy The Sun)

The Sun, Baltimore, Aug. 11, 2008. (Courtesy The Sun)
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The Sun, Baltimore, Aug. 11, 2008. (Courtesy The Sun)

Chicago Tribune, Aug. 12, 2008. (Courtesy Chicago Tribune)
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Chicago Tribune, Aug. 12, 2008. (Courtesy Chicago Tribune)

Detroit Free Press, Aug. 13, 2008. (Courtesy Detroit Free Press)
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Detroit Free Press, Aug. 13, 2008. (Courtesy Detroit Free Press)

The Washington Post, Aug. 13, 2008. (Courtesy The Washington Post)
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The Washington Post, Aug. 13, 2008. (Courtesy The Washington Post)

USA Today, Aug. 15, 2008. (Courtesy USA Today)
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USA Today, Aug. 15, 2008. (Courtesy USA Today)

Rocky Mountain News, Aug. 16, 2008. (Courtesy Rocky Mountain News)
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Rocky Mountain News, Aug. 16, 2008. (Courtesy Rocky Mountain News)

San Jose Mercury News, Aug. 17, 2008. (Courtesy San Jose Mercury News)
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San Jose Mercury News, Aug. 17, 2008. (Courtesy San Jose Mercury News)

From his native Maryland to his training base in Michigan and anyplace with young swimmers with big dreams, Michael Phelps is the darling of the media.

The 23-year old Olympic champion swam his way into the records books, accumulating a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games. He broke the record held by Mark Spitz, star of the 1972 Olympics in Munich, whom Life magazine called "the world’s finest swimmer."

Here are front-page highlights of Phelps’s historic "Race for 8":

August 10: The Sun of Baltimore shows Phelps winning the 400-meter individual medley.

August 11: "Phelps’ Olympic Quest on Track," The Sun declared after the U.S. team’s dramatic come-from-behind victory at the 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay.

August 12: In win No. 3, the Chicago Tribune reported that Phelps bested his own world record in the 200-meter freestyle.

August 13: The Detroit Free Press, calling Phelps "the greatest," noted that he not only broke his own world record in the 200-meter butterfly but broke the record for career Olympic gold. The same day, The Washington Post showed members of the U.S. team rejoicing after their record-breaking win of the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay, giving Phelps win No. 5. "Phelps is Now Without Peer," the Post said.

August 15: USA Today asked, "Can Phelps Ever Be Topped?" Its answer: "It’s unlikely to happen again anytime soon." Phelps wins his sixth gold medal in the 200-meter individual medley.

August 16: "Phelps’ Magnificent Seven," declares Denver’s Rocky Mountain News after Phelps squeaked past a Serbian competitor for the win in the 100-meter butterfly.

August 17: "Eight for Eight," the San Jose Mercury News proclaimed after the 4 x 100-meter medley relay. In side-by-side photos, the newspaper showed Phelps and Spitz at the top of its front page. "Phelps’ Gold-Medal Record: ‘Nothing is Impossible,’" the paper said.

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