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10 Olympians with medals in philanthropy

By: Chanie Kirschner on Dec. 30, 2013, 12:12 p.m.
Michael Phelps instructs Special Olympic swimmers at a clinic in Beijing, China.

Photo: Guang Niu/Getty Images

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Michael Phelps

The possibly retired Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is making headlines lately, as many sources say that he plans to make a comeback at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Whether he is or isn’t, one thing is clear: The Michael Phelps Foundation is doing fine work. Its premier program, IM (named after his signature event, the individual medley and the phrase — “I am”), works to promote healthy, active lifestyles through recreational swimming activities, water-safety instruction, swim training, and health and wellness education. The program recently expanded its focus in 2011 to include an adapted program for kids with special needs as Phelps became a global ambassador for the Special Olympics. (In this photo, Phelps instructs Special Olympics swimmers in Beijing.)