Michael Phelps, the US swimmer who has won a magnificent eight gold medals at the Ice Cube in Beijing, has announced that he plans to become his own country in time to compete at the London 2012 Olympics.
Phelps is the greatest living American swimmer to have won so many gold medals, prompting President George Bush to describe him as:
"America's winningest athlete so far alive ... living or dead!"
However, Phelps says that he feels that, being such a super swimmist, he doesn't really need the cumbersome title of 'American' anymore, and plans to 'branch out' on his own.
He hasn't yet decided on a name for his kingdom, but ideas being floated, are Waterworld, Poolland and the United State of Phelps.
Phelps owns a plot of land in his native Baltimore, and says he intends to "fence it off" from the rest of America after returning from China.