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Phelps uses Olympic bonus to start foundation
September 3, 2008 / 2:39 AM / in 9 years

Phelps uses Olympic bonus to start foundation

<p>Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps give high five to an local group of youth swimmers following a parade in his honor at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, August 29, 2008. REUTERS/Scott Audette</p>

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Michael Phelps will use the $1 million bonus he earned for winning eight Olympic gold medals in Beijing to start a foundation, the American swimmer said on Tuesday.

The first initiative by the Michael Phelps Foundation will be an eight-city tour across the United States during which Phelps will discuss his Olympic experiences with children.

“Thanks to a lot of hard work, some good fortune, the inspiration I drew from so many supporters around the world, and incredible team mates, I was able to achieve that dream by winning eight gold medals in Beijing,” Phelps said in a statement.

“Now, my goals reach beyond the pool, to helping others realize their dreams, and continuing to grow the sport I love so much.”

Swimwear manufacturer Speedo pledged to give Phelps $1 million for at least tying the record seven gold medals his compatriot Mark Spitz won at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

Phelps claimed eight gold medals in Beijing, however, to set a new Olympic standard for a single Games. The Baltimore native has won 14 Olympic gold medals in his career.

Reporting by Steve Ginsburg; Editing by Ed Osmond

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