23-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps to compete in long-distance triathlon

(Picture: Facebook Michael Phelps)

Edit: it turned out we fell for a good old “Día de los Santos Inocentes” joke, the Spanish equivalent of April fools on the 28th of December. Unfortunately, we will not see Michael Phelps in action at a triathlon, but at least we had a good laugh!


With 23 gold Olympic medals and 26 world championship titles, Michael Phelps can easily be called a phenomenon. The former swim star was particularly dominant between 2000 and 2012. Now he’s taking on a new challenge: on May 23, the American sports hero will compete at Ironman Tulsa.

Phelps is starting with a particularly big triathlon challenge, he’ll begin his triathlon career over the classic distance of 3.8 km of swimming, 180 km of cycling and 42.2 km of running.

Physically Phelps has many characteristics that make particularly well suited to swimming: the “wingspan” of his arms is eight cm longer than his height (for “normal” people it is the same) and the distance between his ribs and hips is ten cm longer than average. In addition, after exertion his blood contains less lactic acid than average and he is able to overstretch his joints, allowing his legs to swing 15 degrees more than an average person. Of course, it is still unclear whether these benefits will bring him anything on a bike or during the run.