Simpson Receives A Surprise from Olympian Phelps

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Simpson Receives A Surprise from Olympian Phelps

Aparna Verma and Haley Moreau

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Everybody wants to meet their hero, their inspiration in life. Your hero motivates you to do better, to push yourself to be like them: unstoppable. Yet few people get that chance.

Junior Katie Simpson’s idol is 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. She admires him greatly, saying that, “He’s an amazing swimmer and works hard. He pushes himself to do his best.”

In Fine Arts, Simpson was required to create portrait of a famous person. She picked Phelps. The choice was easy.

“I’m a swimmer and I’ve always admired him,” she explained.

Simpson has been swimming for almost ten years, and she hopes to be an Olympic swimmer for the USA if she can get the chance. Simpson got the opportunity to connect with Phelps through her painting while being hospitalized at Sinai Hospital.

“The lady, her name is Kristen, saw my painting and took it to Phelps. I was told that he was impressed and really liked it. He liked it so much that he framed it for me and signed the painting,” she said.

Phelps’s signature is on the swimming cap of the painting. He also wrote her a note that read, “Never, never, never give up.”

When Simpson got the painting back, she was stunned.

“I was speechless. I didn’t expect [him to sign or frame it]. It was really great,” she remarked.

Simpson also got a North Baltimore Aquatic Club sweatshirt and swimming cap from Phelps.

“I didn’t actually meet Phelps face-to-face,” Simpson tells, but she still hopes that she can meet him at least once.

“It would be a dream come true,” said Simpson.