If you thought you were Michael Phelps’s biggest fan, you are about to find out that you are sorely mistaken. That title has been (un)officially granted to the 21-year-old Austin Levingston who recently left a heart-warming comment on Michael Phelps Facebook page that has inspired thousands of people.
Just days after Phelps returned from Rio de Janeiro with even more Olympic medals to add to his hefty collection, Levingston touched the world with his short but powerful congratulatory post to the Olympian explaining that he is autistic and how much of an impact Phelps has made on him to continuing pursuing his dreams of swimming in the Olympics. With his adorable amount of true happiness and adoration for the Olympian, clearly shown through his words and his many exclamation points, it is hard not feel inspired and encouraged and hopeful for this young man.
It was not long after he posted his congratulatory message that his comment was shared, liked, and positively commented on thousands of times. The same enthusiasm he has for Phelps, readers have for Levingston. He became the role model.
Here are just some of the comments that were left for the uplifting young man.
“WOW Austin! Thank you for sharing this! And yes, you do look like MP! You are an inspiration and you keeping on doing what you’re doing, stay strong and dream big!”
“Thank you Austin and Michael Phelps for motivating others through your examples to achieve their own goals. Swimming is a wonderful sport for children on the Spectrum struggling to integrate with other kids. keep Swimming!”
“I really hope Michael Phelps writes you back. You are an inspiration to me as my son has Autism and he is 12. He wants to play the trumpet and become a special ed teacher. Thanks Austin!!!”
Stunned to say the least, Levingston was not expecting such a reaction to his brave, motivating and truly kind comment to his idol. But, he is in fact, very deserving of it. Not only a star swimmer on his collegiate swim team, he will soon be the first in his family to earn a college degree. Breaking down barriers and overcoming difficulties that he has gone through due to his autism, he is truly an inspiration to not only those who may struggle with a disability, but to all of us.
Austin Levingston, we commend you for your bravery and commitment to achieving your goals. Keep swimming! We all are rooting for you and can’t wait to see you on the Olympic podium one day!
Photo Credit: Agência Brasil