Michael Phelps Has 'No Desire' to Swim Professionally Again, but Might If His Kids Ask Him to

Michael Phelps is currently in Tokyo to cheer on the Team USA swimmers at the Summer Olympics

Michael Phelps Instagram
Michael Phelps and son Boomer. Photo: Michael Phelps Instagram

Michael Phelps retired from professional swimming at end of the 2016 Summer Olympics, but there are three people who could persuade him to make a return to the pool: his kids!

The 23-time Olympic gold medal winner, 36, revealed whether or not he saw himself returning to the sport during a chat with Today co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on Monday, saying "if I did come back, it would be in L.A." (Los Angeles is set to host the 2028 event.)

"I'm not coming back now — don't get any ideas!" he quickly clarified to the camera. "I don't know. I have no desire to get in the water right now. I'm completely happy."

However, if his sons — Maverick Nicolas, 22 months, Beckett Richard, 3, and Boomer Robert, 5 — "at some point ask why I'm not competing, we'll see what the answer is then," Phelps teased with a laugh.

"Anything for my kids," added the athlete, who is in Tokyo for the current Games to support the Team USA swimmers.

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Michael Phelps at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Even with his own career as the all-time-most-decorated Olympian aside, Phelps has previously said he wouldn't push his kids into swimming professionally.

"Nicole and I have had so many conversations about it, and I think the biggest thing is just being able to have them find their own road and their own path that they want to go on," he said on Today back in April 2018.

"We're always there to help and support and answer questions, but I don't want to force them to do something they don't want to do," he added. "That's how my mom was with me, and I'm forever grateful for that."

But that doesn't mean Phelps didn't have his own secret hopes! "I'll be greedy dad and say I'd rather see him play the Sunday of the Masters," he joked.

RELATED VIDEO: Michael Phelps on Being a Dad — and How Family Helps Him Through His Darkest Days

Phelps, who has been open over the years about his struggles with depression, told PEOPLE earlier this month that his family is a huge part of what helps him through darker days, as well as a commitment to a routine.

"Depression is something that will always be part of my life — it's part of who I am," said the athlete, whose Michael Phelps Foundation provides wellness programming to youth around the world. "It's my job to continue to learn and understand why I am how I am."

He sticks to his routine with the same discipline he drew upon to win 23 Olympic gold medals: daily workouts, at least seven and a half hours of sleep each night and drinking lots of water.

"All these small things are part of the equation," Phelps said. "There's only so much that we can control in this world, so I want to be on top of it as much as I can so I can be the best father, the best husband, the hardest worker. I want to give myself the chance."

To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics began July 23rd on NBC.

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