Combination picture made on August 11, 2016 shows US swimmer Michael Phelps with the 22 gold medals he won at the Olympic Games in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016. / AFP / STF
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Michael Phelps brought the curtain down on one of sport's most storied careers with a dynamite relay swim to give himself 23 Olympic gold medals and declared it a perfect finale.The American, far and away the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, finished with five golds and a silver in Rio after signing off in dramatic style, coming to the rescue in the 4x100-meter medley final.Turning back the clock in his fifth and final Games, Phelps produced a blistering third leg of butterfly to restore his team's lead and tee up victory after Britain's Adam Peaty had threatened to gatecrash his party.Even that statistic seemed to pale against the irrepressible Phelps – and likewise Ryan Murphy's leadoff backstroke leg, which set a new 100-meter world record of 51.85 seconds.Nathan Adrian brought the Americans home to preserve their unbeaten Olympic record in the event and give them a 16th swimming gold from 32 events for the week, matching their haul in London four years ago.
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