Michael Phelps Tells PEOPLE He Would ‘Love’ a Daughter: It’s Time for the ‘Next Chapter of My Life’

08/16/2016 at 02:00 PM ET

Michael Phelps PEOPLE Interview
Matt Slocum/AP

Michael Phelps may be retiring from his Olympics career, but he has plenty to look forward to in parenting 3-month-old son Boomer Robert — and a possible new addition.

“We’ve talked about more [children]. We don’t really know how many more we want,” the 31-year-old swimmer said Tuesday in a PEOPLE live chat from Rio. “I think we’re gonna have some fun with Boomer before we make that next choice of trying for another one.

“We would love a girl. Love, love, love a girl,” he adds. “We wanted a boy first, just in case we did have other children, [so] he could be the protector of his younger sibling or siblings.

“So we started off on a perfect note: We got a boy. We got a beautiful, healthy baby boy, and we’re looking to continue to grow our family.”

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While in Rio, where Phelps recently completed his last Olympic race ever and won a total of six medals, including five gold, the new dad announced his plans to retire from the sport.

“It’s time for me to start the next chapter of my life, and I’m looking forward to that now,” he says.

“I have a beautiful fiancée, a beautiful baby boy [whom] I want to spend as much time with as I can,” he adds. “I’ve been able to accomplish everything I could ever dream of [with professional swimming], and it’s time to move on.”

Michael Phelps PEOPLE Interview

Despite his rigorous training and competition schedules in Rio, Phelps has managed to squeeze in quality moments with his son — including time spent on diaper duty.

“I changed a couple diapers since I [came here] with my family [to] Rio, and it’s just awesome watching him smile,” says the new dad, whose fiancée Nicole Johnson was teary-eyed from the stands as Phelps won his last gold in Rio.

“Watching the facial expressions he has [is] the greatest, because he’s laughing now, he’s making noises. [It] sounds like he’s saying ‘Hi,’ but he’s not,” Phelps continues. “He’s just very energetic. He’s locking onto things and staring at things now, so you really do see him growing — not just physically growing, but you can tell he’s getting older. And it’s just a cool feeling watching him grow up.

“I’m looking forward to not missing a day after this,” he adds.

If Boomer wants to get into swimming, his dad will be supportive — but he won’t push it.

“If he wants to get into swimming, that’s fine. If he doesn’t, I’m fine with that too,” Phelps says. “I was never pushed as a kid to put more time into the pool, or play other sports. My mom kinda let me make the call and choose what I was gonna do.

RELATED VIDEO: Check out Boomer Phelps’s Adorable Olympic Outfits!

“And I think that’s something that’s helped me stay in this sport for so long and still be in love with the sport,” he admits. “So hopefully we’ll be able to do that with Boomer, and hopefully he finds a sport or he finds something [else] that he loves, and he just goes for it.

“I’ll teach him,” the proud dad continues of how he’ll be involved in his son’s swimming if that’s the path he chooses to take. “I’m gonna take him in the pool when I get home.”

Mom these head bands are sweet!!! #headbandgamestrong

A post shared by boomer phelps (@boomerrphelps) on

And it turns out Phelps and Johnson — who plan to marry in a “destination, small wedding” around the end of the year — are both in luck when it comes to their son’s looks.

“I’m starting to see a mixture of myself and Nicole. I see more of her right now, [but] he is growing a long torso, so that’s something that I have that he hopefully will get,” Phelps says, joking, “Hopefully he grows some legs because I have very short, stubby legs.”

Jen Juneau with reporting by Steve Helling

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Showing 13 comments

Tieraney on

He seems like a great dad! Wishing him many years of happiness.

Kate Middleman on

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute. Would be adorable if Boomer get to the Olympics someday and has these photos to look back on!

Kar on

Beautiful family!

Guest on

Good grief man, be happy for healthy children of any sex. It’s what most people long for – a happy, healthy child. Period.

Julie on

Now that was a sweet story! Michael sure appears to be enjoying fatherhood…..precious!

Katie on

@Guest, oh good grief, shut up! You’re an idiot!! Of course everyone wants healthy children and Micheal is for certain happy his is healthy. Nothing wrong with wanting the other sex.

LadyRed on

He honestly seems very happy. Best wishes to him and his beautiful family.

🤔 on

Tiny ass short legged freak.

Kit on

Just love the name Boomer Phelps. So great. So cute. So wonderful.

Erica on

I don’t see anywhere that he was unhappy with a boy. It sounds more like he wants one of each. Most people secretly want that. Both genders are great and only a turd stain would be disappointed by another boy. He was just daydreaming IMO. If his wife conceives another boy and Phelps shows public disdain, then go ahead take him over the coals. Until then ….

Bill on

Baby looks exactly like the Persian mother.

Indigo on

His baby is adorable! Time to move on to bigger and better things, being a parent is wonderful!!


Just don’t give the next baby a name like Boomerina or another odd ball name!