Michael Phelps Talks Becoming a Father, Not Having Alcohol in Over a Year: ‘I’m Actually Happy’

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps during the ''Team USA Media Summit'' held in Beverly Hills, 2016. Cal Sport Media via AP Images

Going for the gold! Michael Phelps opened up to Us Weekly about becoming a father and putting his DUI troubles behind him during the U.S. Olympic Committee’s media summit on Tuesday, March 8.

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The 22-time medalist, who is expecting his first child with fiancee Nicole Johnson, told Us he can’t wait for his son to witness him compete for the last time in Rio at the 2016 Olympics. (The swimmer announced his retirement at the 2012 London Olympics, only to reveal in April 2014 that he’ll be competing once again this summer. The couple’s baby is due before the summer games begin.)

“One of the coolest things about being a father going into Rio is that our firstborn has the chance to see my last race ever,” Phelps told Us. “I think that’s something that’ll be really special that we’ll be able to share stories with him, you know, from the time he gets old enough to realize, and I’m excited to have a lot of photos and just to share the moments and memories with him growing up as a kid.”

After becoming the most-decorated Olympian of all time, an incredibly focused Phelps found himself in trouble after he was arrested for driving under the influence in 2014. After completing a stint in rehab, the gold-medalist told Sports Illustrated in November that he hasn’t had a sip of alcohol in more than a year.

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While chatting with reporters on Tuesday, the world-famous swimmer admitted that he’s never been better.

“Obviously there were a lot of things that I needed to fix,” Phelps told the media about recovering. “It’s pretty crazy how big of a change I see from not having a drink … just because it’s like I see a complete change in my body. I see a complete change in how I am day to day. [I’m] completely clear-headed. … It’s just all those small things that really add up and you know for so long without having one, I’m actually happy every day. I’m actually able to be productive every day. I think that’s something that I am very proud of and, you know, I think when I do retire I’ll be able to look back and say that was something that really helped.”

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To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUsa.org. The Olympics begin on August 5, 2016, on NBC’s networks.

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