Nicole Johnson, with 3-month-old Boomer in headphones, has been enthusiastically cheering for the best swimmer the world has ever known. Soon Johnson will be Mrs. Michael Phelps, but their relationship hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Johnson and Phelps started hanging out back in 2007 but called it quits in 2011.
According to USA Today, Phelps regretted the breakup and decided he needed to win her back. “I said to a couple of my friends, if I ever had the chance to get her back, that would be it… She was the one I loved the most.”
The couple reunited in 2014, had a baby and are now planning a wedding that will take place after the Olympics are over, of course.
Johnson began competing in pageants when she was 17. Crowned Miss California in November 2010, Johnson later went on to compete in the 2010 Miss USA pageant, where she placed in the top 10.
Johnson’s mother, Annette Johnson, wasn’t initally happy when her teenage daughter started doing pageants, but she later changed her mind when she saw the benefits. Not only did she see an increase in Nicole’s confidence, but winning pageants helped her daughter get scholarships to USC, according to the Thousand Oaks Acorn.
Johnson graduated with honors in 2007 with a degree in communications from the University of Southern California. She focused her studies on sports entertainment and later worked as a production assistant at the ESPN ESPY Awards, according to MyFitTribe.
Michael Phelps and Johnson became engaged in February of 2015. On Johnson’s Instagram page, she describes the story behind her one-of-a-kind ring: “The center is a pool representing our pool of love, and each side stone is shaped like rain drops that continue to fill our pool.”
It makes sense that the mother of a champion swimmer’s baby would have her pregnancy photos taken in a swimming pool. After all, it’s never too early to start training the next gold medal swimmer. This baby has some big swim trunks to fill, however.
On May 5, 2016, Boomer Robert Phelps was born in Arizona, where father Michael trains. As for the babe’s cute first name, both Michael and Nicole wanted something a little out of the orginary that would make an impact. Boomer’s middle name Robert was chosen as a way for Michael to honor his longtime coach, Bob Bowman, and his grandmother, Roberta, according to Sports Illustrated.
It’s been a big year for Johnson, who posted this pic of one of the many wedding dresses she’s considering for her upcoming nuptials. The beauty queen is going to make a stunning bride, but if she does choose this classic strapless dress with a heart-shaped bodice from the photo, does that mean the wedding won’t be underwater?
According to People, Johnson and Phelps have set a wedding date that is quickly approaching. “We have a date… It’ll be small and intimate for the wedding, and then we’re throwing a massive bash for everyone in the States.” Does that mean Neptune and his mermaid are tying the knot while in scenic Brazil? We’ll let you know as soon as we find out!
Just like all relationships, Johnson and Phelps weren’t immune to rough patches. “There definitely were times, and I think Michael would say the same thing, where I hated him,” Johnson said in an interview with Cosmopolitan. “We were at odds at times. Even when I loathed him, there were still times when I was like, ‘God, I wish I was with him.'”
Don’t expect Johnson to side with Phelps’ Olympian teammate Ryan Lochte. When #LochteGate went down, her first gut reaction was on par with everyone else’s: Really? “My first gut reaction was, ‘Why in the heck were you out in Rio like this? You’ve been given all the stats from staff… you do or you don’t know better.’ Again, it’s sad. Rio was amazing. They did a phenomenal job at keeping things safe for everyone and making sure the athletes were very well taken care of, including the families,” she told Cosmopolitan.
She continued by saying, “I think it’s really sad that it took away from the other athletes that were there and worked so many years to get there. That’s from what Ryan did, and that’s from what the media did. The media didn’t need to give it as much airtime as it had. They should have paid more attention to what was going on and continued to praise what happened the first week versus shifting stories and looking at what Ryan did so much.”