|ESPN.com: Swimming||[Print without images]|
When you look back at all of Michael Phelps' performances in Beijing, you can come to this conclusion: He is the Olympic ideal and single-handedly just saved the Olympics. Pat Forde
• Forde: Ranking the Great 8
• Vote: Your take?
Michael Phelps won a record eight gold medals in a single Olympics in Beijing. Still doubt he's the best swimmer ever? Our numbers don't lie. Amy Rosewater
Jim Caple held Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals so near and dear to his heart, he almost didn't want to see Michael Phelps break it. But it's hard not to be won over by such a feat. Story
|Golden record-breaker Michael Phelps, far right, and 400 medley relay teammates Brendan Hansen and Aaron Piersol celebrate winning the gold in Sunday's final. The U.S. men set a world-best time of 3:29.34.|