Olympic Swimmer Natalie Coughlin: If Anyone Can Handle The Olympics and First Baby, It’s Michael Phelps

Natalie Coughlin and Michael Phelps
Natalie Coughlin and Michael Phelps. Harry How/Getty Images(2)

What’s easier winning 22 Olympic medals or being a first-time dad to a newborn? Michael Phelps will find out when his fiancée, Nicole Johnson, gives birth to their first child, a son, in May.

Phelps – who retired after London 2012 only to return to swimming in April 2014 – is preparing for his fifth Olympic Games, this time in Rio de Janiero.

“It’ll be a different process going into this Olympics and I think it’s just one that I’m looking forward to and we’re excited about,” Phelps told Us Weekly last November.

A different process for sure, but it’s one that his teammate Natalie Coughlin – who, like Phelps, boasts an impressive number of Olympic medals — knows he can master.

“I mean if anyone can handle it, it’s Michael,” the swimmer, who is tied with Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson with 12 medals for most decorated female swimmer, tells Us Weekly. “He is the most incredible athlete and he knows how to win and he knows how to get his stuff done. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

The 33-year-old swimmer has her own goal to work toward as she trains for Rio, just without a little one. “No babies between now and the Olympics!” she laughs.

“This will hopefully be my fourth Olympics,” says the season 9 Dancing With the Stars competitor, who is working on qualifying for the Summer Games. “I’m tied for the record at 12 medals. It’s crazy to me even. So if I get one more I’ll be the most decorated female athlete for the U.S. and that’s insane, that’s so great. I feel like it’s a huge challenge, but it’s one that I’m up for and I feel like I’ve set myself up really well the last couple of years and I feel like I have a lot of momentum. I’m excited. I was just here four years ago, like preparing for London and all of the sudden, in the blink of an eye, we’re preparing for Rio. It’s crazy how quickly everything goes by. But it’s really exciting.”

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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