After competing in London, Phelps admitted he was no longer “in love” with swimming, but now things are different.
“I was so much more emotional,” he said. “I knew this was the last time. I knew this was the last race and the last Olympics that I ever had, and everything just really hit hard.”
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When he officially retires, Phelps said he will want to focus on building a family with his fiancée, Nicole Johnson, and trying to change the sport of swimming.
“I really want to try to change the drowning rate that we have,” he said. “We’ve been able to teach thousands of kids, but I want the numbers higher.”
Phelps insisted that the world will not see him compete in Tokyo after seeing a video of teammate Ryan Lochte insisting that Phelps will be there. Phelps essentially passed the torch to fellow Team USA swimmer Katie Ledecky.
“We are in great shape, not only with Katie but with the team we have now,” Phelps said. “It’s been an honor for me to be on the team with her and some of the younger guys.”
>> Click here to watch Phelps' interview with Matt Lauer