NEW YORK — You may have seen that photo circulating this month of a young Katie Ledecky getting an autograph from Michael Phelps.
Well 10 years later, the dominant duo recreated the picture on the “Today” show — only this time, the roles were reversed.
“Today” welcomed the legendary swimmers Monday morning to talk all things Olympics. At one point during the interview, Phelps and Ledecky snapped a photo. This time a beaming Phelps smiled for the camera as Ledecky signed a poster.
Ledecky provided a stunning performance at the Rio Olympics, often winning events by ridiculous margins and beating her own world records. She won five medals, four of them gold. Meanwhile her USA teammate, Michael Phelps, further cemented his legacy as the greatest Olympian of all time, capturing his 23rd gold medal.
When Ledecky took the original photo, she was 9, and Phelps was her inspiration. But on Monday Phelps himself seemed inspired by the rising star.
“Katie’s doing her thing and she’s breaking records every time she gets in the pool,” Phelps, 31, told “Today.” “It’s been an honor for me to be a part of the team with her and some of the younger guys that we have coming up in the sport that are going to take over.”
Said 19-year-old Ledecky, “I started watching him (Phelps) when I was 6 years old when I was first starting to get in the sport and to be on the team with him has been such an honor.”
Phelps has continued to confirm his retirement, saying on various interviews and on Facebook that the 4 x 100 medley relay would be his last.
The race ended with — what else? — a gold medal.