RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Michael Phelps has nothing left to do at the pool.
He’s ready to start branching out.
At the top of the list: being a father.
The most decorated athlete in Olympic history insisted again Sunday that his swimming career is over, less than 24 hours after claiming his 23rd gold medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay.
He ditched the athletes village and spent the night with his fiancee, Nicole Johnson, and their 3-month-old son, Boomer.
“Being apart from him for the last three weeks, four weeks from when I saw him last, he’s grown so much,’’ Phelps said. “I changed a diaper last night. He was just sitting there looking at me, smiling the whole time. It brought a tear to my eye, just because he hasn’t seen me in a while and it was so cool to see him smiling back at me and laughing and giggling.’’
Boomer was sleeping when Phelps got to the hotel after what was presumably the final race of his career.
“I picked him up after I was done and just held him,’’ Phelps said. “That’s something I’m really, really looking forward to, just watching him grow up.’’
Phelps said he’s eager to play catch with his son in the backyard, take him to sporting events, do whatever he can to be a huge part of Boomer’s life.