It’s been a life-changing year for Michael Phelps. Soon after welcoming son Boomer on May 5, 2016, with wife Nicole, the Olympic swimmer competed in the Rio Olympics, bringing his medal count to 28, before retiring — for the second and final time — from the sport.
The 31-year-old has finally had the time to enjoy life outside of the pool, telling Us Weekly it’s been “amazing” in a new interview to promote his partnership with Colgate’s #EveryDropCounts campaign. The 23-time gold medalist is urging people to turn off the water while brushing their teeth to save four to five gallons of clean water.
Us: How have you been enjoying life since officially retiring?
Michael Phelps: “[We’ve] been able to travel a lot and have some pretty cool opportunities, like we’re filming some stuff for Shark Week, and that was something that I always wanted to do. But it’s a bunch of little small things that we get to really just enjoy now. It’s been a very enjoyable retirement so far and looking forward to just keeping the next chapter as exciting as the previous one.”
Us: You’re always traveling with Boomer. How is he traveling?
MP: “He’s amazing. He really is! But I think it’s going to be probably more challenging now that he’s going to start walking soon, so it might be a little challenging to keep him in one seat for an extended period of time.”
Us: What is he into these days?
MP: “Just about everything! He loves being in the pool; he loves just splashing around in the water. He’s definitely a handful, but it’s something that is so cool and so enjoyable every day to be a part of.”
Us: What do you and Nicole like to do when you have a night just for the two of you?
MP: “There are times where we’re able to sort of have our date nights. That’s something that we always try to keep on top of. The other night we went to see Beauty and the Beast, and it was nice just to be able to have that time away from the family and to be able to just take some time to ourselves.”
Us: Whose pick was Beauty and the Beast?
MP: “That was hers! I wanted to see The Fast and the Furious movie! I was excited to see Beauty and the Beast, but I definitely will be going to see the new Fast and Furious, I love The Rock and Vin Diesel. I need some action!”
Us: You’ve involved the whole family in this new #EveryDropCounts campaign. How is Nicole holding you accountable?
MP: “My wife and I, we go back and forth, and if I get in the shower and I turn the water on before I get in, she’s like, ‘Really?’ and I’m like, ‘What?’ and she’s like, ‘You’re not even in the shower yet, you’re wasting water.’ There are just so many small things that we can do as Americans and also worldwide and in every country, just more conscious of what we’re doing with water and how we’re using it and how it’s incorporated in our life.”
Us: How will you teach Boomer about this when he’s old enough to understand?
MP: “When he starts brushing his teeth, it’ll be something that he’ll know, and he’ll be very conscious about, and hopefully he can tell other people to help as well. So it’s something that’s really cool that not only I’m able to be apart of, but my family is able to be apart of as well.”
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