Swimmer with autism writes message to Michael Phelps, goes viral

BALTIMORE, Md. – A swimmer with autism is dreaming big, and his inspirational message to Olympic great Michael Phelps is getting plenty of attention online.

Austin Levingston, 21, wrote to Phelps on the swimmer’s Facebook page in August to congratulate Phelps for his tremendous success. Normally, that comment would’ve been lost among the thousands of interactions on Phelps’ page, but Levingston’s enthusiasm touched the hearts of other fans.

More than 3,800 people have liked the message in which Levingston, who lives in Kansas, wrote that he wanted to be like Phelps.

“Hello Michael, my name is Austin and I am autistic. I know you may not care to read this, but you are one of my biggest idols and I’ve been following you for a very long time. Right now, I am currently going to college and hoping to become the first person in my whole family to get a degree. I am also a swim competitor just like you and I’m hoping to swim in the Olympics just like you someday,” Levingston wrote.

He even said the two of them share a similar appearance.

“You will never understand how many people come up to me and mention how I look similar to you!!! Anyway, have a good day, man!! Congrats to you on making big history!!”

Man fans have written back to Levingston encouraging him to keep swimming and thanking him for his inspiring words.