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A world-class swimmer and 2016 Olympic hopeful showed up at a Crystal Lake banquet hall Sunday morning to surprise a 13-year-old boy who in February was the target of an alleged hate crime in his Crystal Lake middle school.
BJ Johnson, 26, a USA National Swim Team member, flew in to Chicago on Sunday morning from his home in California just to tell Omid Babakhani that his â€œswim familyâ€ from across the country supports him in his recovery and encourages his return to swim.
â€œWe all wish you the best,â€ Johnson said.
February’s assault resulted in shattering both of Omid’s clavicles. Another student was charged with aggravated battery and committing a hate crime in the assault.
The soft-spoken Omit has since undergone a painful surgery involving the placement of two titanium plates held in place by six screws on each clavicle.
â€œI came here to tell you to not give up on what you are trying to do,â€ Johnson said to Omid prior to addressing the other swimmers and their families who attended the banquet.