One of the beautiful things about our sport is access. In a world where many of the top athletes have distanced themselves from the fans, elite swimmers still take the time to embrace their fans and their roots. Ryan Lochte, one of the most famous swimmers on the planet knows how important it is to give back to the fans. This past weekend in Mesa the big buzz what all about Michael Phelps‘ return to competition, but another big story was the excitement of hundreds of young swim fans who scored autographs from their favorite swimmers. It appeared the elite swimmers also got a lift from the fans’ excitements. Check out this time-lapse photography by sports photographer Mike Lewis who was on the ground all weekend capturing special moments both in the water and around the deck. For a complete photographic retrospective check out this gallery.
It’s a great for 100’s of swim fans in Mesa, Arizona who waiting in line to get autographs from swim stars like Darian Townsend, Katie Ledecky, Katie Hoff, Allison Schmitt, Elizabeth Biesel, Matt Grevers, Michael Phelps, Michael Andrew and many, many more.