Phelps can always ring Down Under and seek Thorpey's advice.
"I'm happy to help him out if he wants a hand with some of these things," the Aussie said.
Phelps' mother, Debbie, was a visible presence in Beijing, along with his two older sisters. Bowman said Phelps' father, Fred, didn't attend the games, as he did in 2000 and 2004 when he stayed out of the spotlight and sat separately from his ex-wife and daughters. Phelps frequently praises his mother publicly for her devotion to him and his career, while never discussing his father.
Asked to describe their relationship, Bowman said, "I think it's just distant. I don't think it's good or bad. There's not much there."
Phelps will return to the international swimming stage at next summer's world championships in Rome, where Bowman said he'll focus on relays and shorter events, including the 100-meter freestyle and one of the backstroke events.