Michael Fred Phelps II was born on June 30, 1985 in Towson, Maryland, USA. Phelps qualified for his first Olympics in 2000 where he finished fifth in the 200 meter butterfly. Phelps has gone on to be a member of the 2004, 2008 and 2012USA Olympic Teams. In 2004, Phelps won six gold medals and two bronze. Four years later, Phelps surpassed the record of most gold medals won previously held by Mark Spitz by winning eight. Phelps qualified to compete the same program he swam in 2008 but decided to drop the 200 meter freestyle to focus on the relay races. On July 31, 2012, Phelps became the most decorated Olympian by winning his nineteenth medal and surpassing Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina. On August 4, 2012, Phelps swam his final race by winning the 4 x 100 meter medley relay gold and ended his swimming career with twenty-two total medals, including eighteen gold.