Every so often you catch a rising before it has reached its full potential and right now American swimmer Katie Ledecky is that star. She is currently swimming in the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. As of Sunday August 9th she has won five gold medals and completing a sweep of the 200, 400, 800, 1500 freestyles and anchoring the 4x200m freestyle. She also broke her own world record in the 800m freestyle by 3.61 seconds. She is only 18 years old, amazing!
When I say she is a rising star, in fact, she already is a star in the swimming world, but just wait until she competes in the 2016 Olympics next year in Rio. If she can continue to pull off amazing feats like this next year , she will become Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz famous. If you don’t remember the last Olympics in London, at the ripe old age of 15, Katie swam for the US team and won the only event she was entered in, the 800m freestyle.
Ledecky has been on such an upward trend, that it is jaw dropping to see this kind of accession. She improved her results since the last championships in Barcelona, where she won four golds and set two world records. In Kazan, she beat the field in the 400 by 3.89 seconds, the 800 by 10.26 seconds and the 1500 by 14.66 seconds, which eclipsed her own world record in preliminaries and the final. Her closest race was the 200 freestyle when she came from behind to win by .16 seconds.
Ledecky is pulling off incredible times and at this point in time she is creating comparisons to men. In April of this year she matched Michael Phelps’s time in the 400 meter preliminary and her latest time in the 1500 meter record time has only been beat by 80 men in the world this year. “It’s really neat to say that you’ve done something nobody has done before,” Ledecky said. I’ll enjoy this for a few days and I’ll get back to work and hopefully there’s more to come.
These kinds of performances do not come along too often and elite athletes like Ledecky even rarer. It is very inspiring to see her compete and watch the potential of the human body. Keep an eye out for her and when the next Olympics come around she will be shining so bright the world will be hers.
Photo AFP Photo/Christopher Simon