The 2016 Rio Olympics are just around the corner and some of the most talented athletes in the world are about to take over our screens for the rest of the summer. You can't really talk about the past few Olympics games without mentioning 18-time gold medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps, who has made headlines in and out of the pool, some a bit controversial. These days, however, Phelps is a beaming new father to son, Boomer, with fiancée Nicole Johnson by his side. The couple announced their engagement back in early 2015, but still not too much is known of their relationship. With the games about to start, some fans may be wondering how did Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson met.
I was surprised to learn that he and Johnson had been dating on-and-off for about eight years when they got engaged! I didn't even know he had a girlfriend at all up until that point. In 2015, Phelps opened up to USA Today about their engagement, and said,
"I said to a couple of my friends if I ever had the chance to get her back, that would be it... Her and I have been on and off for eight years. It's been a long time. We've been through a lot. But I love her to death."
Calculations put their meeting at around 2007, but details as to where and how Phelps and Johnson met are still quite a mystery. In 2012, Page Six reported that they had split up after three years of dating, which would put their meeting at 2009, which has been proven incorrect by Phelps himself. (Or maybe this was a mix up due to the on-and-off situation.) This information just proves that they've kept their personal life very quiet, so no one really knows the true circumstances. Page Six reported back then that Johnson was living in Baltimore to be with him, but after their breakup, she moved back to her hometown of Los Angeles.
The couple was "on" when she won her title of Miss California USA in 2010, and he cheered her on at the 2011 Miss California USA pageant the next year where she passed the crown on to the next winner, Page Six reports. When news came out of their split, Johnson told Page Six through a rep,
"The one thing we have in common is that neither of us have ever talked to the media about our personal life. I wish him all the luck at the Olympics. Go USA!"
So, it's pretty much confirmed that they haven't opened up about that aspect of their life. What we do know now is that at some point in 2014, the couple rekindled their romance and it seems to be as solid as ever. Phelps also said to USA Today,
"We've been able to grow as a couple through everything we've been through, the positive changes I've made in my life. We're at a completely different level than we've ever been in our past relationships."
It's clear that after the birth of their first child and impending wedding after the Olympics, Phelps and Johnson have finally found their stride and are in it for the long haul. Sometimes, it takes a few tries to really make it work.