The year 2016 has been an amazing year for Michael Phelps. At the writing of this article, Phelps has a record 26 medals spanning his career. He has two competitions tonight, so that number may change. An unbelievable 22 of those medals are gold. The 2016 Rio Olympics have also been important to Michael for personal reasons, including now, as news from his fiancee, Nicole Johnson, that they have set a date for their wedding.
Us Weekly reports that Nicole revealed to Access Hollywood that she and Phelps have set a wedding date. The ceremony itself will be a small affair followed by “a massive bash for everyone in the states.”
“We’re kinda getting things rolling, I’ve been planning as we’ve been leading up to [the Olympics]… So I think I have the wedding in order, and now it’s on to the party for the fun.”
Phelps and Johnson dated off an on from 2007 to 2011. They reunited in 2014 and have been together ever since. Regarding her reunion with Michael, Nicole said the following.
“I’m pretty sure we both shared stuff with our parents that we were like, ‘Yeah, this is it. There’s no way we’re getting back together. When we finally did [get back together], it was still a little rocky in figuring things out, figuring each other out, because there had been some time. But we didn’t miss a beat. We’re happy. We have been back together ever since we got back together this last go round. Now we have a little one, a wedding at the end of this year. We’ve got a lot of fun.”
Michael’s mom, Debbie, was there when Access Hollywood spoke to Nicole and said that she was thrilled when the two reunited.
“They had to figure it out themselves, and they had to mature… When he called me and said ‘I’m getting back with Nicole,’ I said, ‘And that’s where you should be.’ He was like, ‘I’m determined to make this happen.’ I said, ‘And that’s what I want you to do.”
Nicole gave birth to their first child, Boomer, three months ago, and by all accounts she and Phelps are both very happy with their little family.
So what does Michael’s swimming future look like? He has said that this is his last Olympics, and at the age of 31, that would be expected. But, as New York Magazine noted, before the Olympic Games began this year, Phelps called this his “potential last Olympics.” He also said he was retiring after the 2012 Olympics.
Fellow Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte said on the Today Show that he doesn’t believe this is Michael’s last Olympics.
“I guarantee he will be there. I think so. I really think so.”
Lochte said the same thing after the 2012 games. And he was right. We’ll see how it plays out this time.
Bob Bowman has been Phelps’ coach for a long time, though, and he disagrees with Lochte. Michael had something to prove this time around. He went through a rough time following the last Olympics. During those games, Phelps has said that his heart wasn’t in it. He came back this time all in, giving it his all. Michael has pulled his life together and this was an important part of his story, something he really wanted to do. Bowman says he doesn’t think Phelps will be back in 2020.
“I just don’t see it happening. He’s in such a good place personally. He doesn’t need it.”
We’ll see what happens in four years. But regardless of the decision Phelps makes then, it’s great to see him on top in every facet of his life now.
[Photo by Matt Slocum/AP]