Katie Ledecky in 2015
|Full name||Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky|
|National team||United States|
March 17, 1997 |
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||155 lb (70 kg)|
|Club||Nation's Capital Swim Club (NCAP)|
Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky (born March 17, 1997) is an American competition swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and nine-time world champion. She is the current world record-holder in the 400-, 800-, and 1,500-meter freestyle (long course). She also holds the fastest-ever times in the 500-, 1000-, and 1,650-yard freestyle events.
In her international debut at the 2012 Summer Olympics as a 15-year-old, Ledecky unexpectedly won gold in the 800-meter freestyle in what was the second-fastest performance ever. In total, she has won fifteen medals in major international competitions, all of them gold, spanning the Summer Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships. During her career, she has broken eleven world records.
Ledecky's success has earned her Swimming World's World Swimmer of the Year and the American Swimmer of the Year awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015, as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2013. Ledecky was also named the international female Champion of Champions by L'Équipe in 2014. Ledecky's seven individual gold medals at the World Aquatics Championships is a record in women's swimming. In 2016, Ledecky was the youngest person on Time magazine's Time 100 list.
Ledecky was born in Washington, D.C., to David Ledecky and Mary Gen Hagan. David Ledecky's father came to the United States from Czechoslovakia in 1947. Ledecky began swimming at the age of six, due to the influence of her older brother, Michael. Her mother swam for the University of New Mexico. Ledecky resides in Bethesda, Maryland, where she graduated from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in 2015. During her high school swimming career, Ledecky set the American and US Open record in the 500-yard freestyle twice, and also set the national high school record in the 200-yard freestyle twice. Ledecky finished her high school career as the holder of the Stone Ridge school record in every swimming event except the 100-yard breaststroke.
Through the summer of 2012, she trained with the Nation's Capital Swim Club (formerly the Curl Burke Swim Club) under coach Yuri Suguiyama. She continues to train with the Nation's Capital Swim Club under coach Bruce Gemmell. During the summers prior to 2012, she swam for Palisades Swim Team in Bethesda. Ledecky accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Stanford University, where she swims for coach Greg Meehan's Stanford Cardinal women's swimming team.
Ledecky is involved with multiple charities, including Catholic Charities, Shepherd's Table, Bikes for the World, and Wounded Warriors.
2012 Summer Olympic Games
At the 2012 United States Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, her first senior national competition, Ledecky made the Olympic team by placing first in the 800-meter freestyle with a time of 8:19.78, which was over two seconds ahead of second-place finisher Kate Ziegler. In Omaha, Ledecky also placed third in the 400-meter freestyle (4:05.00) and ninth in the 200-meter freestyle (1:58.66). Her third-place finish in the 400-meter freestyle was the fastest time ever swum by a 15- to 16-year-old American, breaking the national age-group record previously held by Janet Evans. With confidence, she stated “I knew if I put my mind to it, I could do it,” “I wasn’t intimidated at all.”  At 15 years, 4 months, and 10 days, she was the youngest American participant at the 2012 Olympic Games.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Ledecky qualified to swim in the final of the 800-meter freestyle by placing third overall in the heats with a time of 8:23.84. In the final, Ledecky stunned the field, winning gold by more than 4 seconds, with a time of 8:14.63, the then second-fastest effort of all time just behind Rebecca Adlington's world record of 8:14.10 set in 2008. In addition, she broke Janet Evans' American record of 8:16.22 that had stood since 1989. In the final, Ledecky went out hard and, by the 200-meter mark, she had already established an almost body-length lead. Her 400-meter split was 4:04.34, a personal best for Ledecky in that distance, and would have placed fifth in the individual 400-meter freestyle. At the 750-meter mark, Ledecky was 3.42 seconds ahead of Mireia Belmonte García, and 0.31 seconds under world record pace. Ledecky won by 4.13 seconds and just missed the world record by 0.53 seconds. Her gold was the first international medal of her career, earning her the 2012 Best Female Performance of the Year and Breakout Performer of the Year at the Golden Goggle Awards.
2013 World Championships
At the 2013 US National Championships, Ledecky qualified to swim in four individual events and the 4×200-meter freestyle relay at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Spain, though she later dropped the 200-meter freestyle from her program. At the National Championships, she finished first in the 400-, 800- and 1500-meter freestyle, and second in the 200-meter freestyle.
At the 2013 World Championships, Ledecky won gold in the 400-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyle, and in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, and set two world records. In winning the 400 through 1500-meter titles, she became the second woman ever to win the events in a World Championships since German Hannah Stockbauer in 2003. In her first event in Barcelona, the 400-meter freestyle, Ledecky became a world champion for the first time by winning in 3:59.82, setting a new American record and becoming the second-fastest performer of all time in the event.
In her second event, Ledecky won gold in the 1500-meter freestyle in a world record time of 15:36.53, breaking the record held by compatriot Kate Ziegler by six seconds. In what was a hard-fought race with Dane Lotte Friis, Ledecky overcame Friis in the final few hundred meters after losing the lead at the 300-meter mark, which included a final 50 split of 29.47.
In her third, and first relay event of her international career, the 4×200-meter freestyle, Ledecky and teammates Shannon Vreeland, Karlee Bispo, and Missy Franklin won gold in 7:45.14. Anchor Missy Franklin overtook Australian Alicia Coutts in the last 200 meters, giving the US the gold. Ledecky provided the US with an early lead, swimming the first leg in a personal best of 1:56.32.
In her fourth and last event, the 800-meter freestyle, Ledecky won gold in a world record of 8:13.86, bettering Rebecca Adlington's world record of 8:14.10. Much like the 1500-meter freestyle, Ledecky let Lotte Friis lead most of the race, making a move at the 650-meter mark to eventually win the race by 2.46 seconds.
Ledecky scored more points than any other swimmer to earn the FINA trophy for best female swimmer of the meet.
At year's end, Ledecky was named the World Swimmer of the Year and American Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World magazine. She was also named the best female swimmer for 2013 by FINA Aquatics World magazine.
Ledecky began the year by breaking her own world records in the 800- and 1500-meter freestyle at the 2014 Woodlands Swim Team Senior Invitational in June. Despite being in season and swimming multiple events, Ledecky was able to first break the world record in the 1500-meter freestyle with a time of 15:34.23, bettering her previous mark of 15:36.53. Three days later, Ledecky then broke the world record in the 800-meter freestyle with a time of 8:11.00, bettering her previous mark of 8:13.86.
At the 2014 US National Championships, the qualifying meet for both the 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, Ledecky finished first in the 200-, 400-, and 800-meter freestyle. In the 400-meter freestyle, Ledecky set her third world record of the year by breaking Federica Pellegrini's 2009 world record of 3:59.15 with a time of 3:58.86. With her mark in the 400, Ledecky became the first female since Janet Evans to hold world records simultaneously in the 400-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyles.
Pan Pacific Championships
At the 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Gold Coast, Australia, Ledecky won five gold medals and broke two world records. Her wins came in the 200-, 400-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyle and the 4×200-meter freestyle. Ledecky almost broke the world record in the 800-meter freestyle, finishing with a time of 8:11.35. Her world records came in the 400- and 1500-meter freestyles, with times of 3:58.37 and 15:28.36, respectively. She became the first woman to win four individual gold medals at a single Pan Pacific Championship.
In the 200-meter freestyle final, Ledecky had over a half-second lead on the field at the halfway point before winning by 1.46 seconds with a meet record time of 1:55.74. Less than an hour later, Ledecky won the 800-meter freestyle, swimming under her world record pace for most of the race before touching in at 8:11.35, the second-fastest time ever, to win by 7.52 seconds over New Zealand swimmer Lauren Boyle.
The next day, Ledecky added her third meet record by swimming on the American 4×200-meter freestyle relay team with Shannon Vreeland, Missy Franklin, and Leah Smith. Swimming the anchor leg, Ledecky erased a 1.2-second deficit going into the final leg of the race, passing Australia's Melanie Schlanger with a 1:54.36 split over the final 200 meters.
On the third day of the meet, Ledecky set her fourth meet record in the 400-meter freestyle prelim heats with a time of 4:03.09. That night, Ledecky lowered the record again, setting the first world record ever at the new Gold Coast Aquatic Center with a time of 3:58.37. Ledecky's winning time was over six seconds quicker than American teammate and silver medalist Cierra Runge.
On the meet's final day, Ledecky set her fifth world record of the year, lowering her record in the 1500-meter freestyle by nearly six seconds with a time of 15:28.36. Ledecky swam the second half of the race faster than the first, completing the final 800 meters in 8:14.11—faster than any other woman has completed a regular 800-meter race in a textile suit. Ledecky lapped three competitors in the final and finished 27.33 seconds ahead of silver medalist Boyle. National Team Director Frank Busch described Ledecky's 1500 performance as "the most impressive race I have ever seen, and I've been in the sport for 50 years.... She's blazing a completely different trail than anyone who has come before."
During the championships' closing ceremonies, Ledecky was named the female swimmer of the meet.
2015 World Championships
At the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia, Ledecky won five gold medals and broke three world records. Her wins came in the 200-, 400-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyles and the 4×200-meter freestyle. Her world records came in the 800- and 1500-meter freestyles. Ledecky is the first swimmer to win the 200-, 400-, 800- and 1500-meter freestyles in a major competition. Ledecky was also named the female swimmer of the meet.
On the third day of competition during the morning session, Ledecky swam in the heats of the 200-meter freestyle and qualified first with a time of 1:55.82. In the evening session, Ledecky faced a tough double with the 1500-meter freestyle final and the semi-finals of the 200-meter freestyle shortly after. In the 1500-meter freestyle, Ledecky broke her own world record in a time of 15:25.48. Twenty-nine minutes later, Ledecky qualified 6th in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:56.76.
In her only event on the fourth day of competition, the 200-meter freestyle, Ledecky won her third gold medal of the meet, winning in a time of 1:55.16. Unlike her other races, it was not an easy win for Ledecky, which featured the likes of Missy Franklin and Federica Pellegrini. In the end, Ledecky was able to hold off a fast charging Pellegrini, eventually winning by a 0.16 margin. Ledecky's final 50-meter split of 29.33 was the second-fastest in the field behind Pellegrini's 29.23.
On the fifth day of competition, Ledecky, with Missy Franklin, Leah Smith, and Katie McLaughlin won gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. Swimming the anchor leg, Ledecky recorded a split of 1:55.64 and the Americans finished with an aggregate time of 7:45.37.
On the seventh day of competition, Ledecky completed her World Championships run by winning gold in the 800-meter freestyle in a world record time of 8:07.39, breaking her own record by 3.61 seconds.
Ledecky began 2016 at the Arena Pro Swim Series at Austin. On the final day of competition, she reset her world record in the 800-meter freestyle, clocking a time of 8:06.68. Earlier in the meet, she set world-leading times in the 200- and 400-meter freestyles and a U.S.-leading time in the 100-meter freestyle.
At the 2016 United States Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, Ledecky won the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyles to qualify for her second Olympic team. Ledecky opened the Trials with a win and meet record in the 400-meter freestyle (3:58.98). Two days later, she recorded a time of 1:54.88 en route to winning the 200-meter freestyle. On July 1, Ledecky broke Janet Evans's 28-year-old national championship record in the morning preliminary heats of the 800-meter freestyle (8:10.91) before placing seventh that evening in the 100-meter freestyle (53.99). The next day, Ledecky lowered her meet record, winning the 800-meter freestyle final by nearly 10 seconds (8:10.32). With her pair of swims in the 800-meter freestyle, Ledecky took control of the top 11 fastest times in the event's history.  At the conclusion of the week, Ledecky was named the female swimmer of the meet. 
Honors and awards
Ledecky has also received the following awards:
- Swimming World World Swimmer of the Year Award: 2013, 2014, 2015
- Swimming World American Swimmer of the Year Award: 2013, 2014, 2015
- FINA swimmer of the year: 2013
- L'Équipe Champion of Champions: 2014
- Time 100: 2016 (youngest person on the list)
- USOC SportsWoman of the Year: 2012-13
- Golden Goggle Female Athlete of the Year: 2013, 2014, 2015
- Golden Goggle Female Race of the Year: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
- Golden Goggle Breakout Performer of the Year: 2012
- Nominee for 2016 ESPYS, Best Female Athlete 
- As of January 16, 2016
|100 m freestyle||53.75||2016 Arena Pro Swim Series – Austin||January 15, 2016|
|200 m freestyle||1:54.43||2016 Arena Pro Swim Series – Austin||January 16, 2016|
|400 m freestyle||3:58.37||2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships||August 23, 2014||WR|
|800 m freestyle||8:06.68||2016 Arena Pro Swim Series – Austin||January 17, 2016||WR|
|1500 m freestyle||15:25.48||2015 World Championships||August 4, 2015||WR|
|1||1500 m freestyle||15:36.53||2013 World Championships||Barcelona, Spain||July 30, 2013||16|
|2||800 m freestyle||8:13.86||2013 World Championships||Barcelona, Spain||August 3, 2013||16|
|3||1500 m freestyle (2)||15:34.23||2014 TWST Senior Invitational||Shenandoah, Texas||June 19, 2014||17|
|4||800 m freestyle (2)||8:11.00||2014 TWST Senior Invitational||Shenandoah, Texas||June 22, 2014||17|
|5||400 m freestyle||3:58.86||2014 National Championships||Irvine, California||August 9, 2014||17|
|6||400 m freestyle (2)||3:58.37||2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships||Gold Coast, Australia||August 23, 2014||17|
|7||1500 m freestyle (3)||15:28.36||2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships||Gold Coast, Australia||August 24, 2014||17|
|8||1500 m freestyle (4)||15:27.71||2015 World Championships||Kazan, Russia||August 3, 2015||18|
|9||1500 m freestyle (5)||15:25.48||2015 World Championships||Kazan, Russia||August 4, 2015||18|
|10||800 m freestyle (3)||8:07.39||2015 World Championships||Kazan, Russia||August 8, 2015||18|
|11||800 m freestyle (4)||8:06.68||2016 Arena Pro Swim Series||Austin, Texas||January 17, 2016||18|
- List of Olympic medalists in swimming (women)
- List of World Aquatics Championships medalists in swimming (women)
- List of top World Aquatics Championships gold medalists
- List of world records in swimming
- List of individual gold medalists in swimming at the Olympics and World Aquatics Championships (women)
- World record progression 400 metres freestyle
- World record progression 800 metres freestyle
- World record progression 1500 metres freestyle
- List of USOC Athlete of the Year award winners
- Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Katie Ledecky. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Grim, Filip (August 1, 2013). "Pozor, vlny. Ve světovém bazénu řádí náctiletá kometa s českými kořeny" [Attention, waves! There is a teenage comet with Czech roots raging in the world pool]. iDNES.cz (in Czech). Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- Amy Shipley, "U.S. Olympic swimming trials: Katie Ledecky, 15, earns surprising berth," The Washington Post (July 1, 2012). Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- Dave Sheinin, "Katie Ledecky finishes high school career with Olympics, more world records in sight," The Washington Post (February 4, 2015). Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- Bryan Flaherty, "Katie Ledecky commits to Stanford swimming," The Washington Post (May 15, 2014). Retrieved May 15, 2014
- "2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials (swimming) – Women's 800-metre freestyle (final)". Omega Timing. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials (swimming) – Women's 400-metre freestyle (final)". Omega Timing. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials (swimming) – Women's 200 metre freestyle (semifinals)". Omega Timing. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- Amy Shipley, "U.S. Olympic swimming trials: Katie Ledecky breaks Janet Evans's 400 freestyle age group record," The Washington Post (June 27, 2012). Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- "Katie Ledecky breaks Janet Evans's 23-year-old American record with a time of 8:14.63 to win the gold medal". Biography.com. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- Associated Press, "More Women Than Men on U.S. Team," The New York Times (July 10, 2012). Retrieved July 11, 2012.
- "Swimming at the 2012 London Summer Games: Women's 800 metres freestyle round one". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
- "Swimming at the 2012 London Summer Games: Women's 800 metres freestyle final". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
- Newberry, Paul (July 28, 2013). "Katie Ledecky wins 400 freestyle at world championships". The Washington Times. Associated Press. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- "Katie Ledecky smashes 1500m freestyle world record for a golden double". The Guardian. Associated Press. July 30, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- "15th FINA World Championships – Women's 4x200m Freestyle". Omega Timing. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- Svrluga, Barry (August 8, 2013). "Bethesda's Katie Ledecky sets world record in 800-meter freestyle, wins fourth gold medal of world championships". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Rogers, Iain (August 4, 2013). "Driving test looming for Ledecky after Barcelona splash". Reuters.
- Daniel Gately (June 20, 2014). "Katie Ledecky World Record 1500 meter swim at 2014 TWST Senior Invite". YouTube. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
- Daniel Gately (June 23, 2014). "Katie Ledecky World Record 800 Meter Free at 2014 TWST Senior Invite". YouTube. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
- Nick Zaccardi, "Janet Evans sees parallels with Katie Ledecky," NBC Sports (August 14, 2014). Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- Karen Crouse, "Katie Ledecky Sets World Record in 1,500-Meter Freestyle," The New York Times (August 24, 2014). Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- Jason Marsteller, "Pan Pacific Championships, Results: Katie Ledecky Trounces Pan Pacs Record in 200 Free," Swimming World (August 21, 2014). Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- Jason Marsteller, "Katie Ledecky Smashes 400 Free World Record, Nearly Clears 3:58! (Pan Pacific Championships Results)," Swimming World Magazine (August 23, 2014). Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- "LCM Women Records as of 2/21/2015," USA Swimming. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- Elliott Almond, "Stanford-bound swimmer Katie Ledecky sets world record," San Jose Mercury News (August 25, 2014). Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- Karen Crouse, "Katie Ledecky Wins 800 in Record Time, Completing World Championships Sweep," The New York Times (August 8, 2015). Retrieved August 8, 2015.
- Jason Marsteller, "Katie Ledecky Making Sub-4:00 Look Pedestrian With Meet Record to Defend 400 Free Title at 2015 FINA World Championships," Swimming World (August 2, 2015). Retrieved August 3, 2015.
- Karen Crouse, "Katie Ledecky Breaks World Record, Almost by Accident," The New York Times (August 3, 2015). Retrieved August 3, 2015.
- "16th FINA World Championships – Women's 1500 metre freestyle (final)". Omega Timing. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "16th FINA World Championships – Women's 200 metre freestyle (semifinals)". Omega Timing. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- Dave Sheinin, "Katie Ledecky expands world dominance with 200 freestyle title," The Washington Post (August 5, 2015). Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- Bryan Flaherty, "Katie Ledecky does it again, breaks world record in 800 free," The Washington Post (January 17, 2016). Retrieved March 31, 2016.
- Karl Ortegon, "Katie Ledecky Now Owns the 10 Fastest 800 Free Times Ever," SwimSwam (July 1, 2016). Retrieved July 3, 2016.
- Hannah Hecht, "Ledecky, Phelps Named Swimmers of the Meet," SwimSwam (July 3, 2016). Retrieved July 3, 2016.
- Evans, Janet (April 21, 2016). "TIME 100 Titans Katie Ledecky". Time. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
- Lohn, John (April 21, 2016). "TIME Honors Distance Star Katie Ledecky As One Of Its Top 100 Influential People". Swimvortex. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
- "List of 2016 ESPYS Nominees". ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- Flaherty, Bryan (January 17, 2016). "Katie Ledecky does it again, breaks world record in 800 free". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Katie Ledecky.|
- Katie Ledecky – National Team swimmer bio at USASwimming.org
- Katie Ledecky at the United States Olympic Committee
- Katie Ledecky at FINA.org
- Katie Ledecky at Sports Reference
- Katie Ledecky on Twitter
- Katie Ledecky – Stone Ridge School student-athlete profile at StoneRidgeSchool.org[dead link]
|Women's 1500-meter freestyle
world record-holder (long course)
July 30, 2013 – present
|Women's 800-meter freestyle
world record-holder (long course)
August 3, 2013 – present
|Women's 400-meter freestyle
world record-holder (long course)
August 9, 2014 – present
World Swimmer of the Year
2013, 2014, 2015
|FINA Swimmer of the Year
American Swimmer of the Year
2013, 2014, 2015
|USOC Sportswoman of the Year
|L'Équipe Champion of Champions