While speaking about his retirement following the 2016 Olympics, the Team USA swimmer tells E! News’ Will Marfuggi, “Even though I’m done in the pool, I’m not 100 percent done. Being able to teach kids, not only water safety but healthy and active sports.”
Maybe one day we’ll see Phelps coaching future Olympians? You never know.
“With everything that I’ve done. This is how I wanted to go out. I wanted to go out on top, and on my terms. After seeing everything that went down here, hasn’t really sunk in fully yet, but I have a feeling over the next months, years, it will sink in and I might be able to believe,” he continued to tell us.
“It’s crazy to wrap my head around the amount of medals, the amount of races…because it all started as a dream.”
Phelps, who hinted at the idea of retiring back in 2012, decided it wasn’t the right time to let go of the sport just yet.
“I’m ecstatic I came back, because I did it the right way. I prepared myself the right way. I put myself through changes I had to make. Nicole [Johnson] and I are in a better place now. We have Boomer. Everything turned out perfectly. In 2012, I kinda stiff-armed my career, I just wanted to be done with it. But now I’m happy, and this is exactly what I wanted it to feel like when I retired.”
He added, “Two or three years ago, I ended up falling back in love with the sport. When I kinda fell away for a while and wasn’t interested anymore, I didn’t wanna go through the pain, didn’t wanna go through the grind, I found this love again…It was amazing, I felt like a kid again.”
As for baby Boomer, who quickly became a highlight of the Rio Games, Phelps shared that his Olympic medals are helping him parent. “There was one night he was crying on FaceTime and I was kinda showing him a medal and he instantly stopped crying. I don’t know if it was something about the medal. I’ll see if that does the trick next time he starts shedding some tears.”
And when it comes to whether or not Boomer’s going to follow in his dad’s footsteps, Phelps tells E! News. “He’s been in the pool a few times. He doesn’t like cold water, so I can definitely tell he’s related to me. I warmed the outdoor pool for him a little bit and he’s fine. He’s always really good at bath time, he loves bath time. He’s always relaxed in the water, so he’ll be water-safe, I just don’t know if he’ll swim.”
Watch E! News at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. for the latest excitement from Rio!