Michael Phelps Named The Associated Press Top Sports Story, AP Male Athlete of 2008

BALTIMORE, Maryland, December 24. YESTERDAY, members of The Associated Press named Michael Phelps its Male Athlete of the Year as well as Phelps' record haul of eight gold medals at the Beijing Games as its top sports story of 2008.

According to The Associated Press, "By taking down Mark Spitz's Holy Grail of records with eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, Phelps also was a runaway selection for AP's male athlete of the year. Only Olympic sprinting sensation Usain Bolt (five votes) and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (four) got more than a single vote. Phelps was named on 172 ballots, becoming just the third swimmer to claim the award."

The previous swimmers who won the award were Don Schollander in 1964 and Spitz in 1972. All three swimmers who have earned The Associated Press top honor also were honored by Swimming World Magazine as its Male World Swimmer of the Year. Phelps also became the first swimmer to win Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year.

"Some of the accomplishments have sunk in, but some haven't," Phelps told The Associated Press. "I've been on the road a lot and haven't had time to myself to really sit there and think about what really did happen this summer and this whole year."

Full text of The Associated Press article.