On Thursday, US Olympic Committee (USOC) named Michael Phelps, who made Olympic history with a stunning sweep of eight swim gold medals at the Beijing Games as the Sportsman of the Year.
This is the second time Phelps has been selected as the USOC Sportsman of the Year. He took home the award in 2004 and earned the USOC's first-ever Outstanding Performance of the Year award in 2007.
In a release from USA Swimming, Chuck Wielgus, the Executive Director of USA Swimming says that The performances of American athletes at the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games were absolutely awesome, capping an unprecedented year of success for USA Swimming
Other athletes honored are Natalie Coughlin who received the USOC Sportswoman of the Year honor. Paralympics swimmer Erin Popovich was also named the USOC Paralympian of the Year.
USA Swimming takes an immense amount of pride in our athletes, and we congratulate Erin, Natalie and Michael, as well as their teammate Nastia, on this well-deserved recognition,” Wielgus added.
Phelps set seven world records at Beijing. He broke Mark Spitz's record by winning eight gold medals in Beijing. He collected the most gold’s won by any athlete at a single Olympics, giving him a career total of 16 medals, 14 of them gold, to become the most decorated male Olympian in history.