Michael Phelps entered the day sitting on 17 total medals, just one shy of tying the record of 18 set by Larisa Latynina of the then Soviet Union. Phelps was able to tie the record with a silver medal in the Men's 200m fly, just narrowly missing out on gold, before breaking the record by anchoring Team USA's gold-medal performance in the Men's 4x200m relay.
"I would have liked a better outcome in the 200 fly. Obviously it was my last one and I would have liked to win but ... it wasn't a terrible time," Phelps told reporters after winning his record setting 19th Olympic Medal. "I thank those guys for helping me get to this moment ... I just wanted to hold on. I thank them for allowing me this moment."
Phelps didn't sound disappointed with his performance in the 2012 Games, which included a disappointing fourth-place finish in the 400m individual medley earlier in the week, despite failing to meet lofty expectations.
"The biggest thing I've always said is -- anything is possible," Phelps said. "I've put my mind on doing something nobody has ever done before and there is nothing that was going to stand in my way -- of being the first Michael Phelps."
It wasn't just Phelps for the Americans making a splash. His training partner, 22-year-old Allison Schmitt, took home her third medal of the 2012 Olympics thus far, picking up the gold in the Women's 200m Freestyle. In Beijing in 2008, Schmitt picked up a silver and a bronze medal and has now brought her Olympic total to five medals in just two Olympic appearances.
In the same 200m Freestyle in which Schmitt won gold, 17-year-old Missy Franklin just missed on winning bronze and her third medal of her very first Olympic appearance. Franklin finished just 0.01 seconds behind Australian swimmer Bronte Barratt.
American Caitlin Leverenz also medaled for the United States on Tuesday, winning the bronze medal in the Women's 200m Individual Medley. Leverenz took home her first career medal in her first Olympics, after just barely missing out in qualifying for the 2008 Beijing games by finishing third and twice in fourth place at the U.S. Trials.