13 Reasons Why Gold Medalist Katie Ledecky Is A Beast At All Things
This 19 year old has done more with her life than literally anyone combined.
1. She currently holds 11 world records.
Ledecky, who is 19 years old, holds 11 world records. And get this: most of the time, when she beats a world record, she's really just beating the world record that she already holds.
2. She was the youngest American at the London 2012 Summer Olympics
At just 15 years old, Ledecky splashed onto the international stage, winning gold in the 800-meter freestyle. And ever since, she's been totally crushing it at just about everything.
3. She made it onto Time 100 list
And she was the youngest person on there as well. Way to go, Katie!
4. She has a whole era named after her
According to Chris Wielgus, the executive director of USA Swimming, Katie Ledecky is changing the world of swimming. "I don’t think we’ve ever seen anybody like Katie before. And I think in the future we’re going to look back, and the sport’s history will be divided into pre-Katie and post-Katie." Having an era named after you is way cool.
5. Ledecky has been named USA's Swimming Athlete of the Year
THREE TIMES NOW. Only Ryan Lochte and Mike Barrowman have done that before. And here's hoping that she receive the award again in 2017 to make it four years running.
6. Ledecky isn't making ANY money this summer, or for the next four years
Because she's decided to swim at Stanford, NCAA rules say that under no circumstances can she make paid endorsements or appearances. So not even at the Olympics is she getting paid. She's just doing it because she loves swimming so damn much (and also because she's the best).
7. She's never lost a competitive race with the senior national team
Even the fastest runner in the world, Usain Bolt, is occasionally beaten. Serena Williams doesn't always win a Grand Slam. Hell, even Novak Djokovic didn't make it past the qualifying rounds for tennis in Rio. But Katie Ledecky has never lost in the 12 individual finals in major international meets.
8. Ledecky has made it onto the men's roster for 100 fastest times in the 1500m-freestyle
She beat teammate Ryan Lochte by more than a full second.
Lochte said of his loss: "She's one of the best distance freestylers I've ever seen. I trained with her in Colorado once, and she made me look like I was stopping."
9. Katie is SUPER philanthropic
Ledecky loves giving back - one of her favorite charities is Bikes for the World, which is a non-profit that gets working bikes to people in developing countries.
10. Just the other day, Katie broke an Olympic record...
... In a preliminary.
So not only is Katie favored to win gold in multiple different races, but she's already proven that as soon as she starts swimming, whether she's in prelims or not, she's destined to break all the world records.
11. Ledecky credits her brother for her love of swimming
She says "And I swam with my brother throughout that and always followed him to the pool and wanted to be in the same group as him in everything. I just always enjoyed swimming with him and I think that’s how I really found my love of the sport. I think if I didn’t have my brother swimming with me, I don’t know if I would have loved it as much as I did and still do."
12. Swimming runs in the family
While Katie credits her brother for her start in the sport, she also had another mentor to look up to growing up: her mom. Mary Gen Ledecky swam under 1964 Olympic gold medalist swimmer Cathy Ferguson at College of the Great Falls in the 70s. Mary qualified three times for nationals during her college swimming career.
13. Everyone says she's the nicest person on the planet
In an interview with the Washington Post, Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, who also happens to be a longtime friend of the Ledecky family, said Katie is a "one-in-a-billion human being."
He also goes on to describe her home life, personality, and work style: “She has a very special family, and she’s an incredibly gifted person — with a high, high self-actualization and self-awareness, otherworldly good instincts and intelligence, a gifted physiognomy, plus an incredible drive to be the best. And it’s all natural."
Katie Ledecky is a beast. And we should all be more like her.
We love you Katie, and wish you the best of luck for the rest of the Rio Olympics!