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Happy birthday to Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history

Michael Phelps, left, beat Milorad Cavic by a hundredth of a second in the 100 butterfly in 2008. Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Michael Phelps turns 32 on Friday, nearly a year after he won six medals in his fifth and final Olympics.

Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time, a fact that won't change anytime soon.

He won a record 28 medals (out of the 30 events he entered) between 2000 and 2016. That's 10 medals more than any other Olympian. Former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina is second with 18.

Phelps has 16 more Olympic medals than any other U.S. athlete and 16 more than any other swimmer.

Twenty-three of Phelps' medals are gold, unsurpassed by any other two athletes combined. No one else has more than the nine golds each won by a quartet of Olympic legends: Latynina, Carl Lewis, Mark Spitz and Paavo Nurmi.

Phelps won seven relay golds as part of the always-strong United States team, but his 16 individual golds are still two more than any other Olympian (Latynina has 14).

His most dominant individual Olympic event was the 200-meter individual medley, which he won four straight times from 2004 to 2016. He's the only swimmer and one of four athletes overall to win the same individual event at four Olympics, along with Lewis (long jump), Al Oerter (discus) and Paul Elvstrom (one-person dinghy).

Phelps was by no means a compiler or simply a product of longevity. His peak was also greater and longer than any other swimmer's, and perhaps longer than any other Olympian's. He is the only athlete to win four gold medals at an Olympics more than once, and he did it four straight times.

At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Phelps won six golds and two bronzes to become the second athlete to win eight medals at one Olympics, and the first to do so in a non-boycotted Games (Soviet gymnast Aleksandr Dityatin won eight in 1980, when the U.S. and other countries boycotted).

Then came his signature Games, the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, when he did something that might never be topped. Phelps ran the table, winning eight golds in eight events. He swept his five individual events and three relays by swimming 17 races in a nine-day span.

His accomplishment wasn't without drama, as he won the 100 butterfly by a hundredth of a second over Milorad Cavic, and he needed Jason Lezak to dramatically track down French freestyle gold medalist Alain Bernard to win an improbable gold in the 400 free relay.

Those eight golds in 2008 account for more than one-third of Phelps' 23 gold medals, which are more than all but four countries have in their entire Olympic swimming histories (United States, Australia, East Germany, Hungary).

Happy birthday to the most decorated and perhaps greatest Olympian ever.