It has been said time and time again that Michael Phelps is a machine in the pool but this story shows a different side of Phelps. For all the medals he has won, for all the mistakes he might have made (yes he is only 23 years old), here is a great thing this man did for a family going through a real tough time. A great piece here by Alan Abrahamson of NBC Olympics.com:
It was late, after midnight, and a little boy lay asleep in his bed. Just 11 years old, he was a desperately sick boy. He did not, as it turned out, have many more days left to live.
It was late, and Michael Phelps’ plane had been delayed, and so by the time he got to Stevie Hansen’s bedroom, Stevie could not be roused. No matter. Michael sat there on Stevie’s bed, holding Stevie’s hand. Just talking, certain Stevie could hear him. For two hours. Maybe longer. No one remembers exactly.
The next morning, Stevie woke up and said to his mom, Betsy, “I wish I had woken up. But I know he was here.”
Betsy Hansen sighed and said, “He was so thrilled.”
A little more than a year has passed since that night, since Michael quietly paid tribute to the fighting spirit and the soulfulness of a little boy who, before cancer took over his body, had himself been a swimmer, too — a boy who dreamed of one day being like his idol, Michael.
“He was an inspiration to me,” Michael said Monday. (more…)