Michael Phelps Reveals What It Would Take for Him to Swim Professionally Again

Michael Phelps in 2016 olympics
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In a new interview on 'Today,' Phelps discussed what it would take to come out of retirement and make a return to the water again.

Michael Phelps isn't saying never to a return to the water. In a new interview on Today with co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, Phelps said there's three things that would persuade him to come out of retirement and swim again: his kids, Boomer, 5, Beckett, 3, and Maverick, 1.

"I get in the water from time to time for my own personal mental health," Phelps clarified Monday. "My kids love the water. If my boys at some point ask why I'm not competing, we'll see what the answer is then. Anything for my kids!"

And that return, if it were to happen, would likely be at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

"My wife said to Lester (Holt) in '16, back in Rio, that if I did come back, it would be in L.A.,” he said. "I'm not coming back now -- don't get any ideas!"

The most decorated Olympian ever said he while he's not ruling it out for 2028, he's "completely happy" being out of the water right now.

"I don't know. I have no desire to get in the water right now. I'm completely happy," Phelps added.

Phelps, who retired from the sport in 2016 after the Rio Olympics, is currently at the Tokyo Olympics, where he's serving as an analyst for many of the swimming competitions. And while it's "weird" to be out of the water for the first Olympic Games since 2000, Phelps is happy to be cheering on Team USA.

"There are some really, really good races that I'm happy I'm not swimming anymore. One of them went off this evening, the 200 fly. That race is crazy fast right now, but it's weird," he admitted. "I want to be in the water. I'm used to being able to control everything that's going on. A little bizarre, but I'm happy to be here cheering on Team USA."

NBC will broadcast the Olympics, with additional coverage on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. Another way to watch the Games is on Peacock.