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Retired Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps Shares a Heartwarming Reason Why He’d Return to the Sport

After a career dominating the sport, Michael Phelps announced his retirement from swimming five years ago, saying he was “done, done, done,” according to Of course, he had also announced his retirement four years before that. As the most decorated Olympian ever (wow!), he says he won’t likely return. But ever the family man, there are a few people in his life who could have the power to get him back in the pool competitively.

“My wife said to Lester (Holt) in (2016), back in Rio, that if I did come back, it would be in L.A.,” he recalled to co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, referring to the Los Angeles Olympics, set for 2028. Then he looked straight at the camera and said, “I’m not coming back now! Don’t get any ideas.”

Phelps then continued, “I don’t know,” before going reveal what it might take to convince him to swim professionally again.

“I’m completely happy,” the father of three said of his life. “I get into the water from time to time for my own personal mental health. My kids love the water. … If my boys, at some point, ask when I’m going to or why I’m not competing, we’ll see what the answer is then.”

The doting dad of Boomer, 5, Beckett, 3, and Maverick, 1, said he would consider the move back into sports for his sons, saying sweetly, “Anything for my kids.”

For now, Phelps is mentor to Team USA’s first gold medalist in Tokyo, swimmer Chase Kalisz, who won the men’s 400-meter individual meter. Kalisz was on TODAY and thanked Phelps, saying, “It means the world you were here in this venue personally.” Phelps then shared, “I’m happy I got to watch you live a childhood dream…Being able to watch him [win], I was in tears.”

Congrats to Kalisz and his long-time friend and mentor Phelps for bringing home the gold! And who knows? We just may see Phelps in the 2028 Olympics one last time.

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