Rio Olympics 2016: Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky turn back time, replicate famous picture with a twist

Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky are the toast of the USA swimming and team and are a shining beacon of light in the world of aquatics after their combined medal tally of 9 golds and 2 silvers in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps. Getty

Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps. Getty

But there is a interesting story of how these two Olympians met

One would expect that this fabled Uncle Sam dream team would have first bumped into each other at the last Olympic Games in London, where a young 15-year-old Katie Ledecky breezed past the darling of USA’s women’s swimming team of 2012, Rebecca Adlington.

Adlington, who earned the bronze medal in 8:20.32, spoke almost reverently about Ledecky’s effort, throwing out a host of superlatives: “Unbelievable,” she said. “Fantastic . . . absolutely amazing,” as told to the Washington Post in 2012.

Phelps at that time sought Ledecky out and wished her luck right after his 100m butterfly gold medal conquest.

“It looked like she went out, had some fun, won a gold medal and just missed a world record,” Phelps said. “That’s a pretty good performance for a 15-year-old.”

But it was actually 2006 when Phelps was (only!) 6-gold medals old, that a young 9-year old Katie Ledecky stood in a line at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Phelps’ hometown to get an autograph and a picture.

10 years ago: A 9-year-old named Katie Ledecky gets an autograph from Michael Phelps (Credit: Ledecky Family)

— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 10, 2016

Both would not know that they would band together and script Olympic history in one of the most dominant displays of supremacy shown by USA in an international meet... and the Olympics at that!

Therefore it was only fitting that in 2016, 10-years after an unsuspecting meet and greet, Katie Ledecky was sitting to sign autographs and taking pictures, while Phelps, in his swansong Olympic campaign, came to her and re-created their memory from 2006.

.@katieledecky, @MichaelPhelps re-create famous autograph photo 10 years later! #RioTODAY

— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 15, 2016

For the casual sports fan, this was a great moment. But for a fan of Michael Phelps and his era of greatness showcased in the span of four Olympics, this felt like the passing of a torch.

Katie Ledecky will now go to Stanford University, where she will continue to push for her already phenomenal swim times to become a far lengthier affair than what Phelps’ enjoys with medals at the Olympics!

But what about Phelps, you say?

For that, let’s leave you with a picture of what Michael Phelps’ immediate future looks like!

Michael Phelps with longtime partner Nicole Johnson and son Boomer Phelps. Getty

Michael Phelps with longtime partner Nicole Johnson and son Boomer Phelps. Getty

Updated Date: Aug 16, 2016 22:33 PM

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