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Michael Phelps to be given lifetime achievement award at BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Michael Phelps, BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Record-breaking swimmer Michael Phelps will be honoured with the lifetime achievement award at tonight's BBC Sports Personality of the Year show.

The world’s most decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps, will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The 31-year-old swimmer won his 23rd Olympic gold in Rio earlier this year after an outstanding performance in the pool.

Phelps increased his overall tally to 28 medals, making him the most decorated Olympian in history. He took five golds and a silver this home this year.

Rio was the American swimmer's fifth Olympic games after he made his debut as a 15-year-old in 2000.

His achievements are even more impressive given he retired after the London Olympics and only returned to the sport in 2014.

Michael Phelps said, “I’m thrilled to receive the prestigious Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement award and follow in the footsteps of so many sporting greats. It is a fitting way to end what has been an unbelievable year for me and I’m looking forward to what will be a great night.”

The award will be presented in front of a live audience of 12,000 people at the Genting Arena in Birmingham tonight.

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, says: “For Michael Phelps to have stayed at the top of his sport for so many years, breaking so many records and earning so many medals is a massive achievement and something to be very proud of. The Lifetime Achievement award is the BBC’s way to mark what has been a glorious professional career.”

This year's shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year is as follows: Nicola Adams (boxing), Gareth Bale (football), Alistair Brownlee (triathlon), Sophie Christiansen (equestrian), Kadeena Cox (athletics/cycling), Mo Farah (athletics), Jason Kenny (cycling), Laura Kenny (cycling), Andy Murray (tennis), Adam Peaty (swimming), Kate Richardson-Walsh (hockey), Nick Skelton (equestrian), Dame Sarah Storey (cycling), Jamie Vardy (football), Max Whitlock (gymnastics), Danny Willett (golf).

The show will air tonight from 6:40pm on BBC1.