As you have no doubt heard by now, swimmer Michael Phelps won his eighth Olympic gold medal in the Beijing games over the weekend, bringing his career total to 14 – the most ever for an Olympian.

All the attention that comes with all that bullion has certainly made Phelps the friend to have on Facebook. He told Bob Costas on Saturday night that he has something like 7,600 new friend requests, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Medium Well sports blog.

His fan page has also exploded in recent days, with 859,387 Facebookers signed up at the time of this posting.

Given this excitement, it’s fair to say it may be difficult for Phelps to maintain much of a private life over the next few months – or even years. Check out’s coverage of security and privacy issues in our new In-Depth Report to see how your own privacy is being protected – and threatened.

You may also be wondering why Phelps is so good at swimming. Could it be those size 14 feet or his long torso and short arms? Or might it really just be hard training and a will to win? Read an expert’s response to these questions here.