An estimated 15,000 Ravens fans stayed after the Vikings game on Saturday to witness history, as Baltimore-native Michael Phelps' 8th Olympic gold medal win was aired on the SmartVision screens at M&T Bank Stadium Saturday night. The victory made it a clean sweep for Phelps, as he broke the record for gold medals won in a single Olympics, originally set by Mark Spitz in 1972.
Although Phelps had already become the most decorated Gold-Medal winner in history with a win earlier this week, this did not deter many hometown fans from cheering the local hero. The 400-meter medley, was the last event standing between Phelps and history. Phelps participated in the third leg with the butterfly stroke, and by the time he was in the water, the United States was in third place. By the time he finished his leg however, the U.S. was back in the lead, allowing Phelps' teammate Jason Lezak to compete in the freestyle, effecting clinching the U.S. win, and Phelps' historic 8th medal for the Beijing games.
"This is the most significant thing that's happened to Baltimore in a long time," said Tiffany Hill, who was among the thousands who stayed. She and and her friend Jim Holland drove up from D.C. to experience the Phelps race from M&T Bank Stadium. John Davis of Bel Air even brought a #8 Ravens jersey with Phelps' name on it to support the now most decorated athlete in Olympic history.
BR.com would like to congratulate Michael Phelps on doing his country, his city and his favorite NFL team (the Ravens) proud!