Michael Phelps just added to his number of gold medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics, but social media and the world’s press were more interested in his cute 3-month-old son, baby Boomer.
He won his 19th gold medal during the 4×100 meters freestyle relay. It was made more special by the fact that the 31-year-old made a comeback after retiring from the sport in 2012, and also because his son was there in the stadium.
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) August 8, 2016
Although the baby slept most of the time, his mother — former Miss California Nicole Johnson — couldn’t help but scream in delight after her fiancé validated himself.
Michael Phelps now has 23 total medals, still holding the distinction as the most decorated Olympian of all time.
The Instagram account of Michael Phelps’ son is filled with photos of the cute baby while supporting his dad in trying to regain his status as the world’s fastest swimmer.
One such photo shows a laughing Boomer sitting on a chair and wearing a shirt with the words “Gold Medal Athlete” on it. Tagged in the photo was Coach Bob Bowman, the coach of the US swimmer. Johnson captioned the image with, “I’m ready to go after my daddy re retires” along with the hashtags, “#teamusa #dreams.”
In another photo, Johnson can be seen holding a cellphone in front of baby Boomer while his daddy is talking to him. The caption reads, “Thanks for sharing your gold medal with me dad!!! I love you and can’t wait til I get to see you.”
Just last month, baby Boomer was there to witness Michael Phelps get a spot on the US swimming team during the pre-Olympics qualifier. But it did seem like a formality since the 31-year-old dominated the 200-meter individual medley, 200-meter butterfly, and 100-meter butterfly.
Moving forward into the 2016 Rio Olympics, he has the chance to make history: joining two other Americans — Carl Lewis and Al Oerter — in the honor of winning an individual event four different times.
Talking to the New York Times, Michael Phelps said that he could not afford to lose his concentration in the Olympics, even if he has a baby at home.
“So now it’s like I’m always worried that he’s sleeping right, breathing right, getting enough food, getting better,” he said. “So it is challenging. We just left FaceTime on yesterday, even if we weren’t saying anything.”
Michael Phelps came back from retirement in 2014, apparently because he could not find anything to do that excited him.
“Retirement was pretty boring, to be honest,” he told USA Today, adding that he tried to play golf but could not find anybody to play with because every one of his friends was working. As a result, he always traveled in order to amuse himself.
“It’s good to have some structure back in my life. That’s how I’ve always been,” he said of the decision to come out of retirement. “That’s something I need. I was happy to get that year and a half where I did whatever I wanted, went wherever I wanted. I got that out of the way, and I’m happy to have this back.”
His 2016 Rio Olympic journey was in danger of being scuttled when Michael Phelps checked himself into rehab for six months in 2014 after his second arrest for driving under the influence.
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) June 30, 2016
Back in November last year, Michael Phelps opened up in an interview about his DUI arrest and rehab. Phelps admitted to having difficulty coping with rehab and said he had suicidal thoughts during that time.
However, the 31-year-old swimmer said that the treatment worked and he has managed to stay sober since leaving rehab.
[Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images]