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Stars That Died

Friday, August 15, 2008

Who is the Baltimore Bullet

Michael Fred Phelps AKA The Baltimore Bullet was born June 30, 1985 (1985-06-30) he is (age 23) Baltimore, Maryland, 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 95 pounds (88 kg)

The 23-year-old Phelps earned a $1 million bonus from Speedo, one of his sponsors, for matching the record set by fellow American swimmer Spitz in the Munich pool at the 1972 Olympics. He can break the mark in tomorrow's 400-medley relay, an event the U.S. has won at every Olympics in which it competed since the relay was added in 1960.
``I think the biggest thing is when someone says you can't do something, when there have been quotes in the papers saying it's impossible to tie or break his record, it just shows you anything's possible,'' Phelps told reporters. ``When you put your mind to something out there, anything's possible.'' He also counts Speedo, Visa, Power Bar and AT&T among his sponsors, and he may gain more after the Games. Phelps has a good chance to significantly boost his income from corporate endorsements, which already amount to millions of dollars. But critical to his marketing future will be his ability to transcend swimming to become a national hero of sorts, or at least a major celebrity.

That means landing plenty of gigs on TV talk shows, and perhaps even a spot on " Saturday Night Live"—venues to show off his affable personality beyond the pool, and fully dressed."He's going to have grow into his marketability," said David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California's Sports Business Institute.Though Olympic athletes don't get paid directly for their medals, the games are like any other sport: They're big business. Corporations like McDonald's and Coca-Cola pour tens of millions into sponsoring the Olympics. Companies invest in individual athletes too, hoping to associate their brand with a winner.Phelps came into this year's Olympics counting AT&T, Visa, Omega watches, Power Bar and, of course, Speedo, among his sponsors. After Phelps won his 10th career medal this week, Visa quickly put out a new ad featuring Phelps in a dramatic photo, celebrating the U.S. swim team's victory over France in a relay race.

Phelps currently holds 38 national titles as of 2007, Phelps is beginning to approach the record of 48 held by Tracy Caulkins. He needs 30 World recordsWith 30 world records (25 individual, 5 relay), as of August 2008, Phelps is approaching Mark Spitz's record of 33 world records (26 individual, 7 relay).

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