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“Scares the Hell Out of Me”- Michael Phelps Opens Up on the Horrifying Side of Being a Dad

Published 06/01/2022, 8:00 AM EDT

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Think about the 2016 Olympics, and one image that immediately comes to mind is the face of a record-breaking Michael Phelps. The next image is of baby Boomer, a 3-month-old, in the arms of his mother, Nicole Phelps. Fast forward to six years later, and Michael & Nicole are proud parents of three young sons. But, while being a parent is one of the most beautiful things, it also comes with its challenges.

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Even the best of us struggle with parenting and issues related to it. Some of the thoughts that come along as a parent can be extremely daunting.


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One thought that scares Michael Phelps the most

Being a parent is one of the most satisfying roles in life. The feeling of infinite love, and the constant joy of surprises, are factors, amongst others, that make the journey even more special. But with so many positives, some feelings weigh a parent down. And even the likes of Michael Phelps fear that feeling.

During an interview, Phelps talked about what scares him the most as a father to three young children. “As a parent, it’s scary. I read about suicides almost every single day. We just had two high-schoolers from a local school here that committed suicide a few weeks ago and as a dad, that scares the hell out of me.


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Phelps continued, “From firsthand experience, I was someone who stuffed things down and compartmentalized for a large chunk of my life, and that extra weight should never be on anybody’s shoulders.” Michael said he wants to give his children and the youth the tools to help them understand that it’s okay to talk and ask for help from someone.

How Did Michael Phelps Meet Wife Nicole Johnson?

Phelps is working with an online therapy service, Talkspace, to promote therapy and allow for easier access to professional help. He teamed up with the organization for May’s mental health awareness program. He promoted the ‘permission slip challenge,’ which focused on encouraging people to permit themselves to focus on their mental health.

Phelps hopes to be a better father than his dad


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Phelps had abandonment issues ever since his father left the family when he was a child. He opened up about how he wanted to be a better father to his children. One of the most important things Michael wanted as a child was to have dinner with the whole family, but that could not happen. Phelps has now made it a habit that the whole family sits down to eat together at the dinner table.

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He often acts as the chef for the family, too. He loves to cook and spend time in the kitchen with his children as they engage in some friendly banter. The retired Olympian frequently plays with his children in the backyard of their house too.


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WATCH: 15-Year-Old Michael Phelps Stunned the World With His First 200m Performance at Olympics

Phelps seems happier than ever now that he’s spending more time with his family, and we hope their lives are full of happy moments. And remember, it’s OKAY to speak up about your problems.



Naman Gopal Srivastava

350 articles

Naman Gopal is a US Sports Writer at EssentiallySports. Naman is an Undergraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor’s degree in Cinematography from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology. An ardent fan of basketball and soccer, Naman was once a national level soccer player himself.

Edited By: Simar Singh Wadhwa