It has slowly become apparent to me over recent months that meeting your heroes/heroines is a completely impossible task ... which is not to say that you cannot be in the same room as your heroes, you can shake their hand, look them in the eye and even talk to them, maybe even walk along the road with them ... but there is one problem ... and it's a big one ... They will not recognise themself as a hero or heroine. When you say 'it's such an honour to meet you' they will (assuming they're used to being thought of as a heroine) politely accept your (probably greatly tempered) adoration with a gracious smile.
... But you will, unfortunately, detect the almost, very nearly, imperceptible blanching of their skin as they internally recoil in reaction to the identity dissonance that you've inflicted on them. Nobody feels like a celebrity and nobody feels like a hero. You can, by all means, meet those who you have projected hero status onto but do not expect it to feel all warm and cosy. Fear not, meeting *your* heroes will still be thoroughly wonderful and life enhancing but allowing them to be themself and minimising any swooning at their feet is probably about the best way to repay them for the inspiration that they have unknowingly bestowed on you over the years.