Michael Phelps Gives Adorable Shout-Out to Wife Nicole at ESPY Awards, Where They First Met 10 Years Ago

Nicole Michael PhelpsOlympic swimmer Michael Phelps and model Nicole Johnson attend The 2017 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Time flies when you’re a Phelps. Record-breaking Olympian Michael Phelps attended the ESPY Awards on Wednesday, July 12, and gave a very sweet shout-out to his wife, Nicole Phelps, during his acceptance speech for Best Record-Breaking Performance.

“Today is my wife’s birthday and we met here 10 years ago,” Phelps said on stage before his peers. “And it’s the most amazing thing in the world. Thank you.”

The gold medalist later elaborated about the origins of their relationship in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “My wife was my escort here 10 years ago, [when] she was working with ESPN,” he recalled. “It’s funny, she always tells the story like, ‘I wanted somebody different,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, thanks honey.’”

Happy 4th!!! #family

A post shared by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

The couple dated on-again and off-again for about eight years before Phelps proposed in February 2016 leading up to the Rio Olympics last summer. The two welcomed their son, Boomer, in May, and quietly married in a backyard wedding in June.

“It was small,” Phelps previously told USA Today. “It was our closest friends and family there. It was perfect.”

The couple then had a second ceremony in Cabo San Lucas–the bride wore Julie Vino–followed by a glitzy wedding reception in Arizona on New Year’s Eve. ”She’s like, ‘Everything works out for a reason,’” Phelps told ET. “And, you know, we’ve been together on and off for 10 years and now we have a beautiful son together and we are very happy.”

About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.