Michael Phelps fue elegido en Estados Unidos como el atleta del año en la encuesta de The Associated Press.

Phelps superó en la votación al basquetbolista LeBron James, para recibir el premio por segunda ocasión, luego de un año en el que conquistó cuatro medallas de oro y dos de plata en la natación de los Juegos Olímpicos de Londres.

"Es un poco loco pensar en todo lo que me ha pasado", comentó Phelps. "Finalmente tengo tiempo para descansar y pensar, '¿qué pasó aquí?'. A veces es sorprendente".

Phelps recibió 40 votos en la encuesta entre medios de Estados Unidos, seguido por James con 37. El velocista jamaiquino Usain Bolt, quien ganó tres medallas de oro en Londres, quedó tercero con 23.

Encuesta

¿Crees que Michael Phelps es el mejor atleta del año?

VOTA

Los únicos deportistas que han ganado el premio de AP más de dos veces son Tiger Woods y Lance Armstrong (cuatro cada uno), y Michael Jordan (tres).

"Obviamente es un gran logro", dijo Phelps. "Hay muchos atletas increíbles en todo el mundo, en todo nuestro país. Poder ganar esto es la cereza en el pastel".

Phelps se retiró a los 27 años, tan pronto terminó su última carrera en Londres, como el atleta olímpico más condecorado en la historia con 18 medallas de oro y 22 en total.

"Eso es lo que quería hacer", señaló. "Ahora que terminó, puedo mirar hacia atrás y decir 'eso fue bastante increíble'''.

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  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Gold medallist Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates on the podium in the medal ceremony for the Men's 4x100m Meldey Relay Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Gold medallist Michael Phelps of the United States waves the United States national flag following the medal ceremony for the Men's 4x100m Meldey Relay Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Michael Phelps of the United States waves to the crowd after he received a special award presented by FINA for his career achievements on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates with a special award presented by FINA for his career achievements on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Michael Phelps of the United States points to the crowd from the podium after he was presented with a special award by FINA for his career achievements on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Matthew Grevers, Brendan Hansen, and Michael Phelps of the United States cheer on team mate Nathan Adrian as he finishes the Men's 4x100m Medley Relay on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps reacts after t

    US swimmer Michael Phelps reacts after the US swimming team won gold in the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps (c) reacts nex

    US swimmer Michael Phelps (c) reacts next to teammates Matthews Grevers, Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian after the US swimming team won gold in the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/GettyImages)

  • United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning gold in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • United States' Michael Phelps take the start in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • United States' Michael Phelps, left, leads South Africa's Chad le Clos during the men's 100-meter butterfly final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States' Michael Phelps, right, and South Africa's Chad le Clos react to their scores in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Phelps won a gold medal in the event, le Clos won a silver medal. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • United States' Michael Phelps reacts to his gold medal win in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • ALTERNATE CROP OF OSWM142- United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • United States' Michael Phelps waves after his gold medal win in the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • United States' Michael Phelps competes in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • United States' Ryan Lochte, left, and teammate Michael Phelps leave the podium after the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final medal presentation at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • United States' Michael Phelps competes in a men's 100-meter butterfly swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Winner United States' Michael Phelps, right, compatriot Ryan Lochte, second, and third placed Hungary's Laszlo Cseh, top left, react after competing in the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • United States' Michael Phelps, right, looks to silver medalist Ryan Lochte of the United States after winning gold in the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Debbie Phelps, center, the mother of United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after he won gold in the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States' Michael Phelps poses with his gold medal for the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States' Michael Phelps competes in the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • United States' gold medal winner Michael Phelps shales hands with teammate and silver medalist Ryan Lochte after the medal ceremony for the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Steffen Diebler, Michael Phelps

    Germany's Steffen Diebler, left, and Michael Phelps of the United States compete in the men's 100m butterfly semi-final at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, at the Aquatics Centre in London. (AP Photo/Adam Pretty, Pool)

  • Gold medalist US' Michael Phelps kisses

    Gold medalist US' Michael Phelps kisses his gold medal after the podium ceremony of the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Steffen Diebler, Michael Phelps

    Germany's Steffen Diebler, left, and Michael Phelps of the United States compete in the men's 100m butterfly semi-final at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, at the Aquatics Centre in London. (AP Photo/Adam Pretty, Pool)

  • (FromR) US' Conor Dwyer, Michael Phelps

    (FromR) US' Conor Dwyer, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte celebrate after the podium ceremony of the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • (L-R) US swimmers Ryan Lochte, Conor Dw

    (L-R) US swimmers Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Ricky Berens and Michael Phelps stand during the playing of the US national anthem as they pose on the podium with their gold medals after winning the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final next to bronze medalists China's Hao Yun, Li Yunqi, Jiang Haiqi and Sun Yang during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps (front) compet

    US swimmer Michael Phelps (front) competes in the men's 400m individual medley final swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London. He finished fourth. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • United States' Michael Phelps competes in a men's 200-meter butterfly swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Monday, July 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

  • United States' Michael Phelps mother Debbie, center, applauds following a men's 200-meter butterfly swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Monday, July 30, 2012. At center in back is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States' Michael Phelps, front, and South Africa's Chad le Clos compete in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. Le Clos won gold, Phelps silver. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • United States' Michael Phelps reacts after winning silver in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • United States' Michael Phelps poses with his silver medal for the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • From front to back, Japan's Takeshi Matsuda, South Africa's Chad le Clos, and United States' Michael Phelps compete in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States' Michael Phelps competes in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • United States' Michael Phelps walks away from the pool after placing second in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. Phelps placed second to South Africa's Chad le Clos, earning him the silver medal.(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps leaves the poo

    US swimmer Michael Phelps leaves the pool after he competed in the men's 400m individual medley final swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London. He finished fourth. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Michael Phelps of the United States climbs out of the pool after he finished fourth in the Final of the Men's 400m Individual Medley on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Michael Phelps of the United States reacts after he finished fourth in the Final of the Men's 400m Individual Medleyon Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps competes in th

    US swimmer Michael Phelps competes in the men's 400m individual medley final swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London. He finished fourth. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps competes in th

    US swimmer Michael Phelps competes in the men's 400m individual medley heats swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Debbie Phelps watches her son, United States' Michael Phelps compete in the men's 400-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • United States' Michael Phelps reacts after placing fourth in the men's 400-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States swimmer Michael Phelps dives off of the starting block during the men's 400-meter individual medley event during the 2012 Summer Olympics at the Aquatics Centre in London on Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Al Bello, Pool)

  • Michael Phelps

    USA's Michael Phelps races the men's 400 meter medley heat at the Aquatic Centre in the Olympic Village at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London on Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)

  • USA's Michael Phelps reacts after competing in a heat of the men's 400-meter individual medley at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Michael Phelps of the United States dives off of the starting block as he competes in heat four of the Men's 400m Individual Medley on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Michael Phelps of the United States looks on as he gets set to compete in heat four of the Men's 400m Individual Medley on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)



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  • Su inicio en Juegos Olímpicos / Sydney 2000

    En 2000, apenas cumplidos los quince años, Phelps participó en los Juegos Olímpicos de Sydney. Logró un meritorio diploma, al ser quinto en los 200 metros mariposa.

  • Mundial de Fukuoka (Japón)

    En 2001 ganó su primer título absoluto: la medalla de oro de los 200 metros mariposa en el Mundial de Fukuoka (Japón), prueba en la que estableció, además, un nuevo récord del mundo (1 minuto 54,58 segundos), convirtiéndose en el plusmarquista más precoz de la historia.

  • Mundial Barcelona 2003

    En 2003 batió ocho récords mundiales en cuarenta y un días, varios de ellos de calibre insospechado. Aquel año, en el Mundial de Barcelona, se reveló al mundo como el nadador con mayor proyección de la historia, al ganar, con apenas dieciocho años y a título individual, tres medallas de oro: 200 metros mariposa, prueba en la que en semifinales batió el récord del mundo (1 minuto 53,93 segundos), 200 metros estilos (1 minuto 56,04 segundos; récord del mundo) y 400 metros estilos (4 minutos 9,09 segundos; récord del mundo). Desde ese momento, Phelps comenzó a ganarse los apodos de Bala de Baltimore, Niño Prodigio o Tiburón de Baltimore.

  • Atenas 2004

    En Atenas 2004 se adjudicó las medallas de oro de 100 metros mariposa (51,25 segundos), 200 metros mariposa (1 minuto 54,04 segundos), 200 metros estilos (1 minuto 57,14 segundos), 400 metros estilos (4 minutos 8,26 segundos, récord mundial), 4 x 200 metros estilos y 4 x 100 metros estilos, prueba en la que no compitió en la final, pero se ganó el derecho a la medalla por haber participado y vencido en las semifinales, como establecía el nuevo reglamento. Además, esta joven promesa de la natación estadounidense ganó dos bronces: 200 metros estilos (1 minuto 45,32 segundos) y 4 x 100 metros libres. Este récord lo igualó al obtenido por el gimnasta ruso Alexander Dityatin

  • Michael Phelps vs Ian Thorpe en Atenas 2004

    Michael Phelps frente a la estrella de Sydney, Ian Thorpe, cuando éste era todavía muy joven

  • Récord mundial en 2006

    Michael Phelps rompió el récord mundial en 2006, en los Pan Pacifics y lo dejó en 50: 25.79.

  • Beijing 2008

    Phelps obtuvo ocho medallas de oro en los eventos de natación en los Juegos Olímpicos de Beijing 2008. Según un estudio de ESIrg (Economics, Sport and Intangibles) de la Universidad de Navarra, Michael Phelps fue el rey mediático de los Juegos Olímpicos de Beijing 2008, por el número de noticias generadas en todo el mundo.8

  • Beijing 2008 / Relevos 400 x100 estilo libre

    En una final cardiaca, Estados Unidos, encabezada por Phelps, vence a Francia en los Olímpicos de Beijing en la competencia de 400 x 100 estilo libre de la natación.

  • Michael Phelps vence a Mike Cavic en Beijing 2008

    Mike Cavic participó en las competiciones de 100 m estilo libre y 100 m mariposa. En la primera de ellas, fue eliminado en semifinales, y aprovechó para preparar a fondo su prueba favorita. En los 100 m mariposa, venció en todas sus series logrando un récord olímpico, ganando también su semifinal, pero perdió la final ante Michael Phelps, por 1/100 de segundo, en una de las llegadas más igualadas de la historia de las olimpiadas, que tuvo que ser dilucidada mediante la Foto finish. El equipo serbio impugnó el resultado, pero la FINA lo confirmó posteriormente.

  • El mejor atleta olímpico de la historia

    Sin lugar a dudas, con la medalla número 22, Michael Phelps se consagra este sábado 04 de agosto en los Juegos Olímpicos de Londres 2012, como el mejor atleta en la historia olímpica y de la historia moderna en la natación mundial.