Michael Phelps on Expanding Family, Son Boomer's Swimming Skills and Whether He'd Do Reality TV (Exclusive)

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Michael Phelps at Colgate event
Photo: AP

Michael Phelps may have hung up his swim trunks, but his 1-year-old son, Boomer, is just realizing his love of the sport.

ET caught up with the Olympic gold medalist after he delivered an inspirational speech about water conservation -- in partnership with Colgate's Every Drop Counts campaign -- to the students of Alain L. Locke Magnet School for Environmental Stewardship in New York City last week. 

Phelps was eager to gush over his baby boy, and noted that the father-son duo already have one thing in common. "[Boomer] loves being in the water," the 32-year-old swimmer mused. "[At the house], we were both lying on our stomachs just kicking our feet [in the pool]. He loves being outside."

While Boomer shares his father's love of the water, Phelps has no intention of throwing him into the deep end of competitive swimming. "It’s going to be his choice no matter what," he said with a shrug when asked if he'd support Boomer following in his career footsteps. "If he wants to swim, great. I’m not going to push him one way or another."

It is, however, Phelps' hope that his son takes after him when it comes to his philanthropy efforts, which includes getting the word out about water conservation. "Boomer is at the age that he’s paying attention to everything that we’re doing. His mind is a sponge," he shared. "For us, it’s important to teach him at a very young age …to try to help and make a change that’s so easy that the world can benefit from."

In August, Phelps and his wife, Nicole Johnson, announced that they are expecting their second child, but they may not stop at two! "We always talked about three, so second one is on the way. We’ll see what happens," he said of expanding their family. "We’re going man-to-man now, and it’s probably going to be more challenging. Boomer is at the point now where he’s running all over the place."

Phelps added that he is feeling a bit more prepared this time around, but doesn't expect it to get any easier. "For me, I was there for some of it but not all of it with Boomer ‘cause I was training and traveling," he confessed. "With Nicole and I, it’s really trying to find the balance of that each kid gets the attention they need. I think that’s going to be a challenge, a learning process for both of us."

While Phelps has much more time to spend with his family since retiring after the 2016 Summer Olympics, he's adamant that this next chapter of his life will not include reality television. "No, I don’t know if you guys would like that. There's nothing really going on," he quipped about a possible Keeping Up With the Phelps show.

"For me now, it’s about doing things that I enjoy and love," he explained. "That’s what I did my whole career anyway."

Looking back at his time in the pool and earning 28 Olympic medals, Phelps admitted that he still hasn't processed it all. "I never had time to sit back and understand what was going on," he confided. "I’m sure at one point in my life I’ll be able to kind of have some idea of what went on or what I did. When that time comes, it’ll come."

"I don’t think I can force it. I just have to naturally let life happen, and see where it takes me," Phelps continued. "Maybe it’s not time for me in my life to understand what happened to me yet. ...There’s so many 'what ifs' and you just gotta let go."