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Bush congratulates Phelps: 'America is proud'

india Updated: Aug 18, 2008 00:59 IST
Bush congratulates Phelps: 'America is proud'

US President George W Bush today telephoned Michael Phelps and told the US Olympics swimming sensation "if you can handle eight gold medals, you can handle anything," the White House said.

"Laura and I are proud of you. Our family is proud of you, but most importantly, America is proud of you," Bush, who was here on his Texas ranch, told Phelps, whose eight gold medals at a single Games are unmatched.

"We're excited for you. You handled yourself with humility. Give your mom a big hug for me. 41 and I were honoured to get a picture with her," Bush said, referring to his father, George Bush, the 41st US President.

They spoke after Phelps, 23, overtook compatriot Mark Spitz, whose seven swimming golds at Munich in 1972 were the most at a single Games.

Phelps, competing in his third Olympics, took his total of Olympic titles to a record 14, including six from Athens, where he also claimed two bronze.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a message of congratulations today to Britain's "superb" Olympic team, which has enjoyed a surprise gold rush in Beijing over the last two days, a London report said.

And Queen Elizabeth II has invited Britain's Olympians to a drinks reception at Buckingham Palace on October 16 after a royal spokeswoman said the monarch had been taking "a keen interest" in the games.