Michael Phelps doesn’t seem like someone to change his mind after announcing to the whole world that he is officially retired as of Saturday, August 14.
“This time, I mean it,” The Inquisitr quoted the most bemedalled athlete in Olympic history as saying. Michael Phelps has won a total of 28 medals, 23 of which are gold. Michael Phelps originally retired after the 2012 London Olympics but changed his mind 18 months later.
Sure of retirement now, his plan is set on helping America improve its dismal drowning record as far as young children are concerned, according to Forbes. In other words, Michael Phelps will still continue to help out in his chosen field, except that he won’t be in an Olympic-size swimming pool. In his own words, the world’s most successful Olympian sums up his retirement goals:
“This is the part of my life where I get to start this whole new chapter…It’s continuing to change the sport of swimming in some way that I can. I really want to try to, not only in the U.S., but also change the drowning rate that we have. That’s something that is a big goal of mine. We’ve been able to teach thousands of kids, but I want the number higher.”
In speaking about what he plans to do now that he is retired, Michael Phelps also revealed that in the United States, ten people drown daily. He wants to bring this number down to zero. Considering his Olympic record, there is a good chance that he could accomplish such a lofty goal.
Because he won’t be competing in the waters — which usually involves a lot of preparation and training — he will be able to spend a lot of his time with Boomer, his three-month-old son, who is now a superstar in his own right. No doubt, Michael Phelps will be able to teach Baby Boomer some drowning prevention techniques when he is old enough.
Michael Phelps will undoubtedly also get to spend a lot of time with Nicole Johnson, who he intends to marry sometime before the end of this year, according to Us Weekly.
“I didn’t want to live my life without her,” Phelps confides to Cosmopolitan. The source says that the couple broke up twice over a period of eight years when they were together and that they got engaged sometime in February 2015.
“I always said, if I ever had a chance to get her back, she was the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with,” Michael Phelps also said. However he had proposed to Nicole, he probably did very well because it worked. According to The Inquisitr, the date is already set for the lovebirds’ wedding.
Now how does the Michael Phelps retirement affect his best buddy and Olympic teammate Ryan Lochte’s career? Phelps’ impact on Lochte can swing in two different directions. Firstly, Lochte can get demotivated by his buddy’s absence from the Olympic swimming pool. After all, he admits that Phelps is his best motivation to achieve more in swimming competitions.
“I can look back throughout my career and say he [Michael Phelps] is probably the one who brought the most out of me,” Lochte confides to USA Swimming. Lochte has not yet decided if he will follow in Phelps’ footsteps by retiring as well.
Secondly, he can take advantage of the void that Michael has left in the Olympic swimming department and reclaim the dominance that he used to have in the 200 individual medley (IM) swimming event, according to Yahoo News. He dominated this event until Michael Phelps came along. With Phelps no longer in his way, he just might have a better Olympic future.
To-date, Ryan Lochte has won 12 Olympic medals (six gold, three silver, three bronze) according to Swim Swam. He is the only Olympic swimmer who comes close enough to be Phelps’ second. He is, therefore, facing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the top athlete of the U.S. Olympic swimming team.
And so with Michael Phelps out of the Olympics, Lochte has an even better chance to shine and show the world what he can do. If you look at the situation this way, the Michael Phelps retirement is actually great for everybody concerned: Ryan, Nicole, and Baby Boomer.
Of course, it’s great for Michael Phelps, too, because now he gets to relax a lot and spend more time with his family. He’s earned it, after doing such a fantastic job representing the U.S.A. swimming team since he was 15 years old.
[Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]