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August 15, 2016
If you've been mesmerized by the swimming feats of Olympic legend Michael Phelps, you may be equally impressed by his taste in bridal jewelry. The engagement ring you see here was presented by Phelps to former Miss California Nicole Johnson when he proposed to her in February of 2015.
Exactly a year later, Johnson posted a closeup of the ring and offered a peek into the symbolism of the large oval-cut diamond center stone and what seem to be shield-shaped side stones.
She wrote: "[The] center is a pool representing our pool of love and each side stone is shaped like rain drops that continue to fill our pool. Thank you @intagemsanddiamonds for helping @m_phelps00 create the most beautiful ring I've ever seen. #imnotbiased #ringselfie #rings #engaged #soontobemrs"
Her February post was well received by her 303,000 followers as it generated 15,400 likes and 1,081 comments.
Interestingly, Johnson knows a lot about fine jewelry and is more than comfortable behind a loupe. She earned an Accredited Jewelry Professional designation through the Gemological Institute of America in 2011 and worked as an assistant marketing manager and sales associate for Los Angeles-based INTA Gems & Diamonds. Among her accomplishments at the firm was assisting in the design and development of the official crown for the Miss California Teen USA pageant. (Note: GIA's AJP designation has been renamed from Accredited Jewelry Professional to Applied Jewelry Professional.)
While Phelps became the biggest story of the Rio Olympic Games, NBC's television cameras repeatedly cut away to emotional shots of the swimmer's supportive fiancée and their new baby, Boomer Robert Phelps, who was born on May 5th.
Phelps entered the Rio Games as the most decorated Olympian in history, with 22 medals, including 18 golds. As a 31-year-old, he added five golds and a silver during eight grueling days of competition — a competition that he says will be his last. He won his 23rd, and final, Olympic gold medal Saturday night by swimming his best stroke, the butterfly, in the 4x100 medley.
Phelps and Johnson met at the ESPY Awards in 2007 and have dated since 2009. They announced their engagement in February of 2015 and their wedding is scheduled for the end of this year.
Credits: Images via Instagram/nicole.m.johnson.