How Wide Is the Wingspan of Michael Phelps?

wide-wingspan-michael-phelps Credit: TIMOTHY CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Swimming sensation Michael Phelps has a wingspan of 79 to 80 inches, which is proportionally longer than his height of 76 inches (6 foot 4 inches). A long stature coupled with outstanding stroke mechanics have helped Phelps to an unprecedented 22 Olympic medals, as of 2014.

Phelps' wingspan may have been the difference in a victory at the 2008 Summer Games in which he edged out Serbian Milo Kavic by just one-hundredth of a second in the 100-meter butterfly. Phelps is also double-jointed, with his size 14 feet bending up to 15 degrees further at the ankles than other swimmers and allowing for increased flexibility at the elbows and knees.