Athlete Spotlight: Katie Ledecky, Real Life Mermaid
Name: Kathleen Genevieve “Katie” Ledecky
Country: United States
Height: 5’8’’ Weight: 150 lbs.
Date of Birth: March 17, 1997
Accomplishments: Five-time Olympic gold medalist, World Champion nine times, World-Record Holder, 19 Gold medals, One silver medal
Katie Ledecky, an American competitive swimmer, is a nine-time world champion and five-time Olympic gold medalist. Ledecky was born in Washington. Her grandfather, Jaromír Ledecký, came from Czechoslovakia to the United States in 1947. Her grandfather is Czech while her grandmother is Jewish.
Due to the influence of her older brother, Michael, Ledecky started swimming when she was only six years old. Her mother used to swim for the University of New Mexico. Ledecky attended Little Flower School and completed her graduation from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart last year.
She set the US and American Open record in the 500-yard freestyle two times and set the national, high-school record twice in the 200-yard freestyle. Except the 100-meter breaststroke, the star swimmer held the record in every swimming event in her high school career. She trained with the Nation’s Capital Swim Club during the summer of 2012 under coach Yuri Suguiyama. Coach Bruce Gemmell trains the star swimmer now but she still trains with the same swim club.
Ledecky swam for Palisades Swim Team in Maryland during the summers prior to 2012. She received an athletic scholarship to Stanford University and accepted it. Ledecky will begin swimming for Stanford Cardinal women’s swimming team of coach Greg Meehan from 2016’s fall. Jon Ledecky, her uncle, is New York Islanders owner and a businessman. Ledecky is the youngest athlete to be on the Time 100 list (2016) of the Time magazine.
Currently, Ledecky holds the world-record in the women’s 1,500-, 800-, and 400- meter freestyle (long course). In addition to this, the star swimmer holds the fastest-ever times in the women’s 1,650-, 1000-, and 500-yard freestyle events.
At the 2012 London Olympic Games, Ledecky won the gold medal in the women’s 800-meter freestyle in her international debut as a 15-year-old upstart. She left Rio de Janeiro four years later as the most decorated female athlete of the 2016 Olympics with two world records, one silver medal, and four gold medals.
Ledecky has won one silver and 19 gold medals overall in major international competitions, spanning the Pan Pacific Championships, World Championships, and the Summer Olympics. The 19-year old star has broken 13 world records during her career.
Ledecky has taken part in several charities including Shepherd’s Table, Wounded Warriors, Catholic Charitie, and Bikes for the World. However, she turned down endorsements to concentrate on college.
Her outstanding success earned her the American Swimmer of the Year and World Swimmer of the Year awards in 2015, 2014 and 2013. In addition to this, L’Équipe named her the international female Champion of Champions in 2014. The star athlete has a bright future ahead. The 19-yaear old swimmer has earned several awards and medals and she is expected to achieve much more in the future.