U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps splashed it up with some excited kids Monday in Rio de Janeiro's largest urbanised slum neighbourhood, the Rocinha favela.

Phelps, who retired from swimming as the most decorated Olympian of all time after winning a record 22 medals including 18 gold, was in Rio for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards in which he is nominated for the Sportsman of the Year Award.

But the high profile event did not keep the retired swimmer out of the pool as Phelps led a swim lesson at the favela's Rocinha Sports Complex.

The record holding swimmer said that a young age he dreamt of breaking new ground as a swimmer and that sports centres like this one can help kids do the same one day.

Presented by Adam Justice