by Michael Place
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Legendary swimmer Michael Phelps has ruled out the possibility of competing at the Rio 2016 Olympics, saying he is "happier" in retirement.
Speaking ahead of Monday night's Laureus World Sports Awards in Rio de Janeiro, Phelps said he was relishing the opportunity to dedicate time to other projects.
"I am having fun. I love being retired, I can't stress it enough," Phelps said during a swimming event for underprivileged children at the Rocinha slum.
"I am happy, smiling and more relaxed. It's something that I have wanted for a long time and now I'm happy that I can make the most of it."
The 27-year-old admitted he had made the most of his time in Rio by visiting the city's famous beaches.
"This is my second time here and it's very impressive," he said. "I've never seen anything like it. The people here are incredible.
"Yesterday my agent and I decided to go to the beach and it was great to see how everybody seems to be having fan and is so relaxed.
"It's not something you see too often. It's going to be something special for Rio to host the Olympics and the World Cup with this type of spirit."
Phelps announced his retirement after last year's London Olympics, where he won four gold and two silver medals.
He is the most successful Olympic swimmer of all time with 22 medals, including 18 gold.