Without a shred of doubt, the presence of Nicole Johnson during this trying period was instrumental in his recovery as well.Michael Phelps wife had a rocky relationship with the pro swimmer since they started dating. And in 2012, Michael Phelps also decided to retire from swimming.RIO DE JANEIRO -- To the world, he is Michael Phelps, the Greatest Of All Time. “You could just tell how much he was gleaming, how much pride he had in himself, and the journey he has been on.”Later, Schmitt said something to Phelps. “I don’t think I have ever seen you that happy.’”Then she took it back.“I think there was one other time I saw you that happy,” Schmitt said to Phelps. “It’s when a Beetle car, I call it a slug bug, I don’t know what kind of car it is, when that car comes by,” Schmitt started and stopped, unable to remember that it’s a Volkswagen.“I have a technical question,” I asked Schmitt. “I was watching the 200 fly final from my dorm room -- fortunately, I was swimming the next morning, but unfortunately, I was not able to be there in person. I kind a saw the up-close, how TV really gets up close into his face, when he got the medal, and national anthem was being played and when he went and saw Nicole and Boomer.”In that instant, Schmitt recognized the real Michael Phelps, the one she knows, the one she sees on a daily basis.“The smile on his face said it all,” she said.
However, Nicole Johnson was there for the world’s most decorated Olympian ever. He said to USA Today, “I never wanted to have a, ‘What if? I was like, as long as I can tell her that, I can go through my life and be happy. News of their engagement hit headlines back in 2015.
“Yeah, it’s an honor to be on an Olympic squad with the GOAT.”But to Allison Schmitt, he is a housemate, a surrogate brother when she’s away from her home in Canton, and a ride-sharing, daily-commuting, slug bug-whacking partner.“There would be times when we would be so slap happy and laughing on the way to practice, belting out country songs, or just laughing at the silliest of things,” Schmitt said. I say, ‘No, Tweeties are different than the yellow slug bugs. If he sees a purple one, he tries to call it a Grape.’’She smiled.“Yeah, that’s not a thing,” she said.
“It’s when I saw a picture of you when Boomer was born.”As Schmitt remembered those moments Thursday, she thought back to all of those car rides, all of those times when they were playing slug bug, and all of those times when they were belting out country songs on the way to practice.“He is having a record year,” she said, laughing and thinking about the Eric Church song.
I want to see Michael Phelps in a car, doing dashboard karaoke to Eric Church’s “Record Year,” set against video clips of him swimming in the Olympics, racking up medal after medal. Then again, can you imagine Michael Phelps, the Greatest of All Time, the GOAT himself, playing slug bug? While the world drops into Phelps’ life every four years -- or the times in between, when he has gotten into trouble -- Schmitt has seen him for years, up close, warts and all, through the good times and bad.“I can definitely see he’s enjoying every moment of this,” she said.
"Or playing slug bug."Now that’s something I want to see. For the past year, Schmitt has lived with Phelps and his fiancée, Nicole Johnson, in Scottsdale, Ariz., which has given Schmitt a different view of Phelps than most.
Allison Rodgers Schmitt (born June 7, 1990) is an American competition swimmer who specializes in freestyle events, and is an eight-time Olympic medalist.