We all know that Michael Phelps is an amazing athlete, but according to the Washington Post, he’s tied an Olympic record that’s stood for over 2,000 years.
According to the Post, Leonidas of Rhodes, who competed in the Ancient Olympics, holds the record with 12 individual Olympic titles. Phelps of course has 25 total Olympic medals, including a record 21 Olympic gold medals, but only 12 of those 21 have come from individual events, whereas the others came from relays.
Leonidas of Rhodes won gold medals in three events, in four straight Olympiads, which historians consider to be the all-time record.
ICYMI, Leonidas won the stadion, diaulos, and hoplite race at the 164-160-156-152 BC Ancient Olympic Games. 4 consecutive in 3 diff events
— Bill Mallon (@bambam1729) August 10, 2016
According to historians, Leonidas of Rhodes was the closest thing to an Olympic god, winning his last three gold medals at the age of 36. He competed in the stadion (a track event similar to the 200-meter sprint), the diaulos (described as twice as long as the stadion, or about 400 meters), and the hoplite. The hoplite apparently was the most unique, and just sounds plain cool.
The Post describes the hoplite race as such: “The hoplitodromos — also called the hoplite race — might be the most intriguing. Runners competing in the ancient race were required to wear a helmet, leg armour and carry a shield. With 50 pounds of added weight, it was a test of strength as much as speed or endurance.”
However, times have changed. Phelps already broke the modern record in London, held by Ray Ewry, who competed in the 1900, ’04, and ’08 Olympic Games. And now, he’s about to break the all-time record.
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