One of the best parts of the Olympics is the opening ceremonies. For most athletes who won't medal, for most countries that won't enter the podium at all, it's the thrill of a lifetime, to parade into the Olympic Stadium and wear the colors of your home nation.

As always, there is always anticipation leading up to the Games about who will carry the flag for each country. Sometimes it's an easy decision as delegations may only have a handful of athletes, but with the United States team, it could always be one of many athletes.

And this year? It's the most decorated Olympian of all-time.

Phelps has captured 18 gold medals and 22 total medals. He is the second swimmer to carry the flag for the U.S., joining Gary Hall in 1976.

The 31-year-old has never walked in the Opening Ceremony before, so this will be a first for him in multiple ways.

From Newsday:

“For Sydney, I just wanted to make the team. For Athens, I wanted to win gold for my country. For Beijing, I wanted to do something nobody else had done (breaking Mark Spitz’s record with eight gold medals). In London, I wanted to make history,” Phelps said.

“And now,” he added, “I want to walk in the opening ceremony, take it all in, represent America in the best possible way and make my family proud.”

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