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Prince William lauds Michael Phelps at SPOTY (video)

Michael Phelps tokyo delay

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Michael Phelps attends the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year on December 18, 2016 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

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Michael Phelps landed a second honor for his unrivaled Olympic career in a week at BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year ceremony Sunday night.

The 23-time Olympic champion was bestowed a lifetime achievement award by Prince William with Phelps’ old Australian rival Ian Thorpe to their side.

“You are one of the greatest sporting icons that sport has ever had, and your 23 gold medals, never mind all the other colors, pales into sheer superhuman history,” the prince said to Phelps on stage. “You should be so proud of your achievements. It’ll be many, many years before, if ever, anyone stands here again and calls you the greatest athlete in history. So, many, many congratulations. Hopefully your retirement gives someone else a chance now.”

Last Monday, Phelps was honored as the greatest Olympian of all time by Sports Illustrated.

MORE: Phelps reveals specific goals from Rio Olympics