TEMPE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - 18 time Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps was in the valley pushing a message about being safe around water. Phelps told a young group of swimmers at Presidential Pools in Gilbert that he credits his mom, who at an early age, taught him how to handle the water.
"My mom just put me in the water for safety; that is how she started with my older sisters. We wanted just to be completely safe so that if anything did happen we were able to survive, we all just fell in love with the sport, and here we are today," said Michael Phelps.
Phelps is training in the valley for his fourth and final Olympics.
"Being down here is so different than anything I experienced growing up and training growing up, being able to look up, and seeing a blue sky almost every day it does wonders," said Phelps.
He is working with his longtime coach Bob Bowman, who is now with Arizona State University.
"I think I am going into Rio more calm and relaxed, Bob, and I are finishing out our career, my career, how we want to. I would never have come back if I didn't want to give 100% because that was the only way I was going to do it. I don't know that I have really been 100% going into an Olympics ever," he said.
With the Rio Olympics about four months way, he's training hard.
"As long as I can look back 20 years from now and say I did everything I wanted to do in my career, that is all that matters. I could go and strike out and not medal; I would probably be a little upset, but if I did everything I could I can't ask for anything more," said Phelps.