Michael Phelps announced his retirement from swimming competition during his interview on ‘Today Show.’ The 23-time Olympic gold medalist spoke about the Rio Olympics, and revealed his future plans.
Michael Phelps now has 23 Olympic gold medals and 28 medals overal. He won five fold medals in the Rio Olympics along with a silver. Already the most decorated Olympian of all time, it’s a sure bet this is a sports record that will stand for quite some time. Putting that in perspective, as Matt Lauer Tweeted that if Phelps were a country, his total gold medal count would exceed that of all but 32 of the 205 nations in the Olympic Games. A staggering statistic, to say the very least.
In his face-to-face interview with Matt Lauer, the now 31-year-old Phelps said, “Done, done, done — and this time I mean it.”
Previously, after the London 2012 Olympics he had announced retirement and, in the subsequent years has made an astonishing comeback. Those who may have counted him out, especially after his DUI arrest and stint in rehab had clearly underestimated the champion.
Phelps said of his return to his third and final Olympics, “I wanted to come back and finish my career how I wanted, and this was the cherry on top of the cake that I wanted.”
He went on to say, “The biggest thing between now and London, I was so much more emotional during these games. I think that showed at times on camera. That’s the difference, because I knew this was the last time. I knew this was the last race that I ever had, the last Olympics that I ever had. And everything just really hit hard.”
He also opened up about family life. He’s now engaged to his long-time girlfriend, model and former beauty queen Nicole Johnson. The couple has a 3-month-old son, Boomer. Fans who have watched Michael Phelps throughout his competition at Rio came to know of them both as they, along with Phelps’ mother, Debbie, have been in dutiful attendance.
He revealed that he wants to continue “to build a family with Nicole.” He also spoke about his ongoing philanthropic efforts, a commitment to help reduce the alarming rate of drowning in the world.
He said of his future, “This is the part of my life where I get to start this whole new chapter.”
He also revealed his desire to help Team USA, and said, “I told I told a bunch of them, I won’t be far away, if they ever need anything to reach out. This has been such a passion of mine and a big sport for me. I want to help these guys as much as I can.”
You can see highlights of the interview below, as Michael Phelps opens up about his final Olympics and his future.
Pictures: PR Photos