Olympian Michael Phelps gives William Watson III a Confidence Award. 8/6/12
It was the ultimate adventure for one East Tennessee boy: a trip to London to meet Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and watch the final race of his career.
Seven-year-old William Watson III and his mother returned to Knoxville Tuesday night with accolades of their own though.
William is part of the IM swimming program at the Boys and Girls Club, but he has already faced his fair share of tough times.
He lost his father in a shooting earlier this year, and William himself nearly drowned.
But in London, William was recognized for his "winning attitude and undefeatable spirit" through it all.
As the new spokesman for Head and Shoulders, Phelps presented William with the first "Confidence Award."
His mother was also recognized for her outstanding influence and direction in his life.
She says they are grateful for the support, which shows how much people care about William's future.
"I hope it helped him in a positive way to stay in the right path, even after he lost his father, we're still dealing with that loss," mother Kenya McKenzie said. "He can still move forward and keep his head up."
As part of the award, Head and Shoulders is giving the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley a $25,000 grant for the youth center where William swims.