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Michael Phelps: Fatherhood Is Really The Coolest Experience I’ve Ever Had In My Life

By Craig Bohnert | May 13, 2016, 5:52 p.m. (ET)

Michael Phelps poses at the NBC/United States Olympic Committee promotional shoot on Nov. 21, 2015 in West Hollywood, Calif.

Michael Phelps is experiencing what every new father experiences when forced to travel for work: He misses his little one.

Currently at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for altitude training, the most decorated Olympian in history told fans via a Facebook Live session Thursday that he’s enjoying fatherhood. The session began with coach Bob Bowman showing Phelps completing a 6,000-meter workout, what Phelps called a “go your own pace” workout.

“It’s been great, I can’t say enough,” he said of becoming a father. “It’s really the coolest experience I’ve ever had in my life.”

The 18-time Olympic champion admitted to being homesick for his newborn, Boomer, born May 5 to Phelps and his fiancée, former Miss California Nicole Johnson.

@m_phelps00: "Just the happiest person in the world!!! #Luckydad Amazing Family!!"

“It is hard being away,” he said. “That was probably the hardest thing, when I got on the plane, leaving Boomer and Nicole at home. It’s challenging. I don’t want to go too much into it, it will make me get all emotional,” he added, smiling. Technology is helping ease the pain, though.

“We FaceTime every day,” he said. “I probably get 20 pictures a day of the little man, just sleeping, throwing his arms into different positions, stuff like that.”

Phelps was joined on the live session by teammate Allison Schmitt, a four-time medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games who won gold in the 200-meter freestyle and was part of the champion 400-meter medley and 800-meter free relay teams. They shared a practical joke Schmitt played on Phelps on April Fools’ Day: covering his car with hundreds of Post-It notes.

“She got me really good,” Phelps said. “I was not happy.”

Other secrets revealed by Phelps and Schmitt:

  • Favorite TV show is Family Feud – “We’re huge Steve Harvey fans,” Schmitt said.
  • Schmitt has a habit of falling asleep in the first minutes of any movie she tries to watch, but says she can recite “White Chicks” word for word. “I will watch that movie every day.”
  • Phelps’ favorite golfer: “I’d love to see Tiger come back and be able to get up and play with Rory (McIlroy), Jordan (Spieth) and Dustin (Johnson). I’m a huge Jordan fan, and I love Rory. It’s just fun watching those guys battle.”

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Michael Phelps