Phelps struggling to comprehend Olympic success

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Michael Phelps' swimming career may have come to an end after Rio 2016 but the 31-year-old still struggles to come to terms with everything he achieved.

After bursting onto the international stage at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney at the age of 15, Phelps went on to become the most decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals.

Of those 28 podium finishes, Phelps took to the top step on 23 occasions, including winning five golds in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year as he brought the curtain down on his career in style.

Time away from the sport has enabled Phelps to get his head around some of his achievements but he believes it could take up to 20 years to fully appreciate his successes.

"Honestly it'll take years before I can fully comprehend everything that has happened in my career," he said at the Golden Goggles Awards.

"The biggest thing for me now... I'm just getting through 2008. I've got eight more years of stuff to get through and just trying to figure out what happened, enjoy the ride and the memories. 

"I mean it might take a year. It might take five, 10, 20 years, who knows. For me to wrap my head around 28... I don't know when it will happen, but I'm looking forward to that day."