Phelps, 31, broke into laughter after one boy raised his hand and wished him well should he decide to "unretire" for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The owner of 28 Olympic swimming medals told the kids he would "probably" never swim competitively again. He couldn't help leaving a little wiggle room. But at the same time, he recalled telling his mother, Debbie, after his last race in Rio de Janeiro, "This is it. I'm done. I came back for one more."
His wife, though, left even more wiggle room in a Sports Illustrated artice released today, in which the magazine names him the "Greatest Olympian of All-Time." Phelps is on the cover, wearing his 23 gold medals at once for the first time. It's the 12th time the longtime Rodgers Forge resident has appeared on SI's cover.
In the artice by Tim Layden, Nicole Phelps says "It's been fun to watch him get back into the pool, and he and Schmitty (Allison Schmitt) are pushing each other. He's in the right place now, but it will be interesting to see him in four years.