Michael Phelps practiced with a new swim partner at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., on July 1.
Hailey Cannaday, a 16-year-old high school swimmer battling osteosarcoma, a cancer in her left leg, swam with Phelps in a SportsCenter “My Wish” segment (video here).
“This is just unbelievable,” Cannaday said after being surprised by Phelps’ invitation, according to ThisWeekNews.com. “I’ve never met anyone famous, so to be meeting my idol and the best swimmer of all time … I had trouble just Skyping with him. I don’t know what I’m going to say to him when I get there.”
Cannaday first felt left leg pain in April 2014 when it gave out on a flip turn while swimming for her high school team, a tumor was found in her left knee, and she underwent at least 30 weeks of chemotherapy and 10 surgeries, according to reports.
Phelps and Cannaday toured the training center, where Phelps is known for practicing at altitude for weeks at a time, including a row of famous U.S. Olympic champion swimmer photos of Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Misty Hyman and more.
Cannaday, from Columbus, Ohio, hopes to rejoin her high school team and to swim in college, according to ESPN. She was to start more chemotherapy July 9, according to ThisWeekNews.com.
“[Phelps] has been my idol all along,” she said, according to ThisWeekNews.com. “All of my teammates call him the human Aquaman.”
Flashback: Michael Phelps at Sydney 2000 Olympics