Great Bend man finds inspiration from look-alike idol

GREAT BEND, Kan. Twenty-two year old Austin Levingston gained national attention for his similarities to Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.

Multiple national media outlets ran stories about how much Levingston and Phelps look alike.

Levingston, a Great Bend native, has Autism and has always found inspiration from Phelps.

“He’s a big inspiration to me, and I’ve been looking up to him since I was 6 years old,” Levingston beamed.

Recently, Levingston got a gift he could have never imagined, a message from Phelps via email. That message reads:

Austin your support means a lot to me.
Thank you,
Michael Phelps.

Levingston says he almost cried and dropped his phone when he first saw the message. He is a swimmer, and like Phelps, a pretty darn good one. Now he hopes his courage to reach out to his idol in Michael Phelps can inspire others.

“I hope that it inspires other people who have idols of their own, where they can reach out to their idols and say something to them, you know?" Levingston says.

When asked if he could beat Phelps in a race in the pool… he says he isn’t sure, but it would be pretty close.