When Daphne, daughter of Towson University swimming and diving coaches Pat and Maureen Mead, sees Phelps on TV, she says, “Ma, Ma, it’s Michael.”
Swimmers, though, certainly can relate to his steely determination — at least when they’re working out at pre-dawn pool sessions.
Master age-group champion Hennessey, 29, said that just seeing Phelps’ photo on the wall at Meadowbrook pool, where she trains six days per week for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, motivates her more than she ever thought it would.
“It’s unbelievable. It just pushes me to go the extra mile,” she said. “I think if he can do (a certain) time, I can do one, too.”
She also admits to being a little flustered when she met Phelps last spring at Meadowbrook.
“I didn’t know what to say,” she said. “But I did manage to say, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m 29 and you’re 23, and you’re my hero.'"
Hennessey added that she qualified for the Maryland State Championship against much younger and faster competitors, “thanks to Michael Phelps.”
“I would have never made it without him.”
OK, so he likely won’t win an Emmy for his SNL stint. Some say he was a fish out of water doing sketch comedy.
Not that it matters. There are plenty of comedians in the world, but only one Michael Phelps.
And he’s ours.