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Michael Phelps is now getting Katie Ledecky’s autograph in this throwback recreation

U.S. Swimming recreated the iconic first encounter—with a major twist.


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Aug 16, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 6:18 am CDT

U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky has become one of the breakout stars of the Rio Olympics. Her fans are already lining up to meet her—including one athlete she lined up for a decade ago.

As Ledecky’s reign in the pool began, throwback photos and home video emerged showing years of determination and the many famous encounters she’s already had in her first 19 years. At 16 months, she appeared on Today as her mother introduced her to Al Roker. She met Michael Jordan, who she now eclipses in number of gold medals, at age 2 (and even hung out in the owner’s box). Most famously, Ledecky met swimming superstar Michael Phelps 10 years ago.

Now six medals into her Olympic swimming career (five of them gold), she’s now meeting one of her biggest fans—one who calls her “Stud.” USA Swimming posted the recreated throwback, only this time Phelps is getting Ledecky’s autograph.

Perhaps in the years to come, a future swimming superstar might point to a photo of meeting Ledecky as a motivational turning point.


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*First Published: Aug 16, 2016, 10:54 am CDT