Swimming legend Michael Phelps hasn’t been in the pool competitively since the 2016 Olympics in Rio. This month, he’s in Tokyo for the summer games as a commentator.
Would the 36-year-old, 23-time gold medalist ever make a comeback? Well, it’s not likely–but not impossible.
During an appearance on Today on Monday, Phelps said he has “no desire to get in the water right now” but left open the possibility of coming back on one condition–if his kids ask him to.
“I’m not coming back now — don’t get any ideas!” Phelps quickly clarified to the camera. “I don’t know. I have no desire to get in the water right now. I’m completely happy.”
However, if his sons — Maverick Nicolas, 22 months, Beckett Richard, 3, and Boomer Robert, 5 — “at some point ask why I’m not competing, we’ll see what the answer is then,” Phelps teased with a laugh.
Over five Olympic appearances (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016), Phelps won his record 23 gold medals, along with three silvers and a pair of bronzes.
At the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps set an American record with eight gold medals in one Olympic games. He previously equaled the record for most medals of any color in a single games when he won eight (six gold, two bronze) in Athens in 2004.
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