Are you following Boomer Phelps on Instagram? Grandma Debbie Phelps thinks you should be.
During a live interview on Thursday night, Michael Phelp’s mother took a second to promote her grandson Boomer Phelps’ Instagram page which, as The Chicago Tribune notes, has twice as many followers as that of NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett.
“Follow (Boomer) on Instagram,” Debbie said as a side note as the interview with NBC came to an end.
At the time of this publishing, Boomer Phelps had about 18,400 followers on the photo sharing account.
— dailymusicnews (@musicnews_daily) July 1, 2016
Boomer Phelps is only 8 weeks old, but he’s quickly becoming one of the most talked about spectators at the 2016 U.S. swimming Olympic trials, taking place this week in Omaha, Nebraska. During each of his father’s races, Boomer can be seen in the stands with Michael Phelps’ fiancée, Nicole Johnson, and Phelps’ mother, Debbie. Often, Boomer is rocking a set of red, white, and blue noise-canceling headphones. Sometimes he’s asleep.
Boomer Phelps’ headphones are cooler than any pair I will ever own. pic.twitter.com/f0Feg3JAXt
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) July 1, 2016
Awake or asleep, it doesn’t seem to matter, as fans love the little man either way. Boomer’s constant presence throughout the trials has helped him to capture the hearts of swimming fans across the country. He’s quickly becoming known as the sport’s littlest fan and newest celebrity.
Only reason why we came to Omaha, to meet boomer phelps???????? pic.twitter.com/Iu5DylnIGI
— Maddie (@MaddieDeucher) June 28, 2016
Though Boomer’s popularity is quickly growing among swimming fans, the baby’s biggest fan isn’t a stranger at all. Instead, Boomer’s biggest fan is the most decorated Olympian in history — his father.
“(Michael Phelps) is over the moon in love with him,” Johnson told Michelle Tafoya from the pool deck during an interview on Thursday night. “He’s willing to change a diaper, he’s willing to jump in an help out. I’ve never seen him smile so big as he does now.”
Phelps’ overwhelming love for his 8-week-old son can be seen in his own social media accounts. On Instagram, Phelps frequently posts photos of his growing family featuring Boomer front and center.
Of course, Phelps hasn’t shied away from talking about Boomer in interviews, either. During his pre-Olympic trials press conference, Phelps talked about what it’s like to be a father and the ways in which fatherhood has changed his perspective on life. That new perspective has transferred into his swimming, Phelps said, and has helped him to relax, have more fun, and just be happy in the pool.
I would just like to announce that today I met THE Boomer Phelps pic.twitter.com/e8LH2pSL2A
— Molly (@dover_molly) June 27, 2016
And, naturally, Phelps is thrilled to share a huge part of himself and his career with Boomer.
“I’m looking forward to having him here and just being able to have my son, my first child, be able to watch me at some of my last competitions,” Phelps said before the Olympic qualifying meet started. “I think is pretty special. I’m sure he’s not going to remember it, but just to be able to document that is something that will be cool and be pretty fun to share with him years down the road.”
Three-time Olympian, teammate and close friend Allison Schmitt has seen a difference in Phelps since Boomer was born, too, she said before the swimming trials began.
“It’s awesome to see the family together, to see the three of them. It’s fun to see Michael as a dad, and I can just see how happy he is. You can see it every day, even when he comes into practice; he’s like a new person, a new father.”
Phelps will return to the pool Friday night as the No. 1 seed in the 200-meter individual medley, which could mark one of the last times that Phelps swims against long-time friendly rival Ryan Lochte.
And, of course, fans expect baby Boomer Phelps to be poolside to watch his daddy swim.
[Photo: Nicole Johnson, Boomer Phelps courtesy of Boomer Phelps Instagram account: @boomerrphelps]